Black Desert Developer Diary #2

Pearl Abyss have released their second developer diary for NA/EU players.

Greetings Adventurers!

It has been about six months since we released Dev Diary #1, and we feel it is time for the next chapter. Join us for Dev Diary #2, from the Pearl Abyss Executive PD of Black Desert Online. Going forward, we will try our best to provide the community with Dev Diaries more often, so we can share the latest news and information with all of you. We really appreciate the patience and support you have all shown, and encourage you to continue sending in your questions, concerns, and feedback. Let’s keep working together to improve Black Desert Online!

“Hello, I am Jaehee Kim, the Executive Producer of Black Desert.

2018 is just around the corner.

It’s been a while since I’ve greeted North America/ Europe Adventurers through the Developer’s Notes.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Adventurers for a wonderful and supportive year.

Looking back at this year, though we were quite busy, I must say that there are still many things about the game that leave much to be desired.

Our goal is to make the best MMORPG and present an unforgettable experience to all Adventurers.

In order to achieve this goal, we will always be open to any suggestions you have and continue to make improvements.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the unwavering support you showed Black Desert over the past year. Thank you and best wishes for the holidays and coming New Year!”

Class Balance

Before going into detail, I would like to mention that balancing classes will be an ongoing process with fixes, buffs, and nerfs here and there. Previously, we avoided nerfing classes, instead choosing to buff others. We realized, however, that we were taking the wrong approach and a stubborn stance, even when players believed nerfs were necessary. From this point forward, we will make sure our patch notes deliver accurate information regarding class balance changes, whether it be a nerf or buff. Below, you will find some of the insight into our approach on making class changes, based on player feedback.

  • We know there were many complaints that Musa needed buffs. The improvements for Musa were included in last week’s patch and we hope that this change would substantially improve Musa’s overall gameplay. Also, we ask for more patience while we work out the balance issues with the classes. As the Absolute skill system update in Korea is now completed, we plan to rebalance the basic strength of all classes.
  • Berserker specializes in stamina and grappling opponents. Players who have experienced their grapples first hand know just how terrifying they are. Although we cannot make changes immediately, please continue to send in your feedback via Kakao Games. We will review your feedback and do our best to apply it to the game. (FYI, most of the Berserker’s awakening skills have the super armor effect.)
  • The Ranger’s ranged attacks will be strengthened via Absolute skills.

No game has a perfect balance between classes, and we are aware of the imperfections in BDO’s class balance, as well. We are collecting feedback from players all over the world, and are working to achieve balance, however, we believe it is a must for us to have more direct and open communication between ourselves and the community.

Militia System

The Militia System will be more efficient as time goes on and any systematic problems will be addressed. In Korea, it took many months for player sentiment to spread regarding player participation and the role of the militia system. The fact that players are AFK life skilling in towns means that the public sentiment on this behavior has not become widespread. While we still want your feedback, and plan to apply any useful suggestions to the game, we do not want players to be controlled entirely by the system, but to have the ability to create adventures for themselves.

Damage Numbers

It is our belief that Black Desert Online should be focused on action combat, without the clutter of damage numbers. We have made the decision not to display scrolling combat text, and to further simplify the UI, so that players can focus more on the action and combat. These changes will be further improved with the introduction of Action Mode UI.

Ninja Patches

From time to time, we hear that something has been changed, but not documented in the patch notes. There have been mistakes where the developer did not include what he/she changed in the patch notes or the description/explanation was not sufficient, and we want to apologize for this issue. We have taken measures to improve this and will do our best not to leave out any details in the patch notes going forward.

Game Client File Optimization

We’ve recently optimized the game client to improve Disk Space issues for players. Black Desert Online game client decreased from 51GB to 27GB. For more information regarding why this is necessary, and how we plan to achieve the end result, please refer to the Q&A below.

Q. Why is this optimization needed?

  • While servicing Black Desert Online in various countries, the download and installation time has been a huge hurdle for new users, not to mention having to purchase a high-spec PC. While marketing and brand awareness are important, we constantly believed that we needed to lower the overall accessibility to BDO.If this continues, the game size will only grow, which will burden new and existing users alike. Therefore, we decided that optimization must be implemented as soon as possible, in order to allow users to update their game burden-free.

Q. How was it possible to reduce the game size from 51GB to 27GB, and lower the specifications?

  • Simply put, we researched every possible method, and implemented all feasible solutions. We dramatically changed our data storage/compression methods and removed all resulting nullified data. We also changed the point of data generation, how the server and client obtains necessary information, and more. These changes were possible because Black Desert Online runs on a proprietary engine, which we can customize to support the necessary technology and achieve our desired goal.

Q. How much has the client download time decreased, compared to previously?

  • Based on Korea, the download has decreased to one-third the time it required before. While it does depend on the local network, we expect it to decrease with a similar degree in the NA/EU region as well.

Q. Did you run into any difficulty during the optimization process?

  • It was difficult to maintain the same gameplay without any additional side effects or restrictions, especially when we were substantially changing the game’s data structures. Also, when we were deleting the original data that the client used, we needed alternative measures to ensure that everything worked, just like before. We used methods that were assisted by the server and that generates the necessary data in real-time. Due to its complex nature in having to compare and analyze various algorithms, the optimization process was aheavily time consuming task.

Q. Are you planning to continue making improvements to the gameplay environment, in the future?

  • Black Desert Online is very important to us, and we want BDO to last for another 20-30 years. We will continue to improve the gameplay environment, as we accumulate knowledge, and our technology improves. Recently, we released information on the graphic remastering we are currently working on, and hope to release next year. This is only one of the tasks we will use to improve the gameplay environment.

Surprise Holiday Gift

In light of the holiday season, all BDO players will be able to receive a free maid as a special gift through the Black Spirit. To receive this gift, you must have a character who has reached level 52. This gift was patched in game during 12/20/2017 maintenance.

With the newly added Cron Tree, we plan to bring follow-up events depending on the number of servers with fully grown Cron Trees. Please look forward to upcoming events and notices. Please enjoy our gifts and events, and we wish everyone Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

Thank you for joining us for Dev Diary #2. We look forward to reading your feedback and working with you to make 2018 a great year for Black Desert Online!

The BDO Team


By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

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