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Black Desert Online (Korean: 검은사막) is a sandbox-oriented fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Korean company Pearl Abyss and originally published for Microsoft Windows in 2015. It has been known as Black Desert Remastered since 2018. A mobile version titled Black Desert Mobile was released for the Android and iOS in 2018. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions, known simply as Black Desert, were released in 2019. The game is free-to-play in some parts of the world, but follows a buy-to-play business model in other editions, including the English-language ones.

Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online Logo (En).png
Developer(s)Pearl Abyss
Publisher(s)
Director(s)Kim Daeil
Artist(s)Seo Yongsu
Composer(s)Hui Man Ryu
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • KOR: 14 July 2015
  • RU: 12 October 2015
  • NA: 3 March 2016
  • EU: 3 March 2016
  • TWN: January 2017
  • SA: 12 July 2017
  • MENA: 6 December 2017
  • SEA: 17 January 2018
Xbox One
  • WW: 4 March 2019
PS4
  • WW: August 22, 2019
Steam
  • WW: May24, 2017
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Contents

GameplayEdit

The combat in Black Desert Online is action based, requiring manual aiming and free movement similar to those found in third-person shooters. The game offers housing, fishing, farming, and trading,[1] as well as large player versus player (PvP) siege events, and castle battles.[2] One of its noted aspects is a very advanced customization system for player characters.[3]

An active combat system requires precise manual aiming, dodging and using combos, unlike the tab-targeting system seen in most MMORPGs. Players are also able to engage in mounted combat.[4][5] Skills can be activated through use of combos for attacking, dodging or blocking. Mounts are acquired by taming in the wild and players are able to breed special mounts by mating certain types,[6] require feeding and care, cannot be stored in the inventory, and may be killed.[7]

The game includes a number of features to assist with immersion and the sandbox aspect. One is the dynamic, worldwide weather system includes large-scale events such as typhoons and will influence gameplay.[8] Localized weather will include events such as temporary fog which players may exploit to launch surprise attacks on rival guild structures.[9] There is also a dynamic day/night cycle with a gradual progression of lighting effects. During the night some non-player characters (NPCs) will become unavailable as they return home and the monsters will drop more loot. Different game content is available depending upon whether it is night or day.[10][11] Player housing is instanced and varies in size and location. Players are able to furnish and equip their housing by purchasing furniture through NPCs or through crafting.[12][13]

SettingEdit

Black Desert Online takes place in a high fantasy setting and revolves around the conflict between two rival nations, the Republic of Calpheon and the Kingdom of Valencia.[14] Calpheon is very materialistic whereas Valencia is very spiritual.

Long ago, the four main areas, Calpheon, Serendia, Balenos, and Mediah, have been at peace. This all changed when the Black Death started spreading via merchants from Valencia, an area east of Mediah that controls trade. Many around the world die of the plague. Some who did not were expelled due to paranoia. Eventually, the three main areas made an alliance and began a war that lasted 30 years and Mediah profited the most by harvesting black stones and trading with everyone. After the war, the alliance slowly started to trade with Valencia again. Tensions rose again when the others discovered the importance of black stones. Desperate to gain wealth, the others started to search for black stones. Calpheon has no area that harbors the precious black stones and because of this they started to steal from others. This raises conflicts with Valencia due to Valencia's vast Black Desert that holds the black stones.[15]

Development and release historyEdit

Early PC development and releaseEdit

 
Original Korean logo

Black Desert Online has been in development since 2010. The Korean studio Pearl Abyss was founded in September 2010 by Kim Daeil,[16] previously a developer with Hangame and NHN Gaming, and began development of Black Desert Online shortly after.[17][18][19] The game uses Pearl Abyss' custom Black Desert game engine specifically created to handle the fast rendering required for its seamless world and large-scale castle sieges with a lot of characters.[17][14]

After agreeing a Japanese publishing deal with GameOn Japan on 8 September 2012 Pearl Abyss began releasing details of the game to the public.[17][20] In November 2012 the game was demonstrated at G-Star.[21] Black Desert Online was also showcased at gamescom 2013.[8][22]

 
Original international logo

Black Desert Online entered closed beta testing (CBT) in October 2013.[23][24] A second, three week long closed beta test begun in April 2014.[25][26] Open beta was launched in December 2014.[27]

The game was released in Korea, Japan and Russia in 2015, in North America and Europe on 3 March 2016,[28] in South America, Turkey, Middle-East North Africa (MENA) in 2017 and South East Asia in 2018. Black Desert Online uses a free-to-play model in Korea, Japan and Russia,[29][30][31] while in Taiwan, South East Asia, Europe, North America and South America the game uses a buy-to-play model.[32]

Post-launch PC developmentEdit

 
Promotion at gamescom 2016

The Mediah Expansion was released in the North American / European version on 30 March 2016.[33] Mediah Part 2 was released on 4 May 2016.[34] The new classes called the Musa, the Maehwa, the Kunoichi and the Ninja were released for play in 2016,[35] followed by the Dark Knight[36] and the Striker[37] in 2017, the Lahn in 2018,[38] and the Shai in 2019.[39] The Valencia I Expansion was released in the North American / European version on 29 June 2016.[40] All expansions and class additions have been free of charge in the buy-to-play model, with no plans of charging for additional future content stated. An updated PC version retitled Black Desert Remastered, featuring new visuals and new audio, was released on 22 August 2018.[41]

In October 2015, Black Desert Online was published and localized in Russia by Cypriot publisher GameNet. This contract expired on October 12, 2018 without an agreement as to account information, including character data. Pearl Abyss has apologized to Russian players and announced they would self-publish in Russia when their own localization efforts were completed.[42] In April 2018, Pearl Abyss announced that it would be changing service providers on North American servers to improve stability.[43] In February 2019, changes were made to the Marketplace to create the new Central Market, which features more user friendly ways to buy and sell items from the Marketplace.[44]

Console versionsEdit

At the Taipei Games Show in January 2017, Pearl Abyss stated Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game are in development, and was confirmed again by Pearl Abyss in March.[45][46] The Xbox One version, simply titled Black Desert, was revealed during Microsoft's E3 2017 press conference. It was launched live in North America and Europe on 4 March 2019,[47] following its multiple beta releases since 2018. Content-wise, however, the Xbox version of game was about three years behind the PC version upon its release.[48] The Striker, Dark Knight, Lahn, and Musa classes were made available for the Xbox One players in April 2019.[49]

The PlayStation 4 version was released on 22 August 2019.[50]

Mobile versionsEdit

In August 2017, Pearl Abyss has released an official teaser for Black Desert Mobile.[51] It was released for the Android and iOS in February 2018,[52] initially only in Korea, Japan and Taiwan, with the English version announced to arrive in 2019.[53]

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
MetacriticPC: 73/100[54]
XONE: 75/100[55]
Review scores
PublicationScore
GameSpot7/10[56]
IGN7.0/10[57]

Black Desert beta has been well received.[29][58] The full game has received mixed or average reviews from critics, currently holding a score of 73/100 on Metacritic.[54]

In April 2016, the publisher Kakao Games announced that Black Desert Online had achieved sales of 400,000 copies in its first month on the European and North American markets, and was showing an average of 100,000 concurrent users.[59][60] By March 2017, Black Desert had 3.4 million registered players in North America and Europe.[61] By May 2018, more than 1.2 million copies of the game have sold on Steam in Europe and North America.[62] As of September 2018, the game had over 10 million registered users worldwide.[63] By April 2019, the game has had over 18 million players and its total revenue has passed $1 billion.[64]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Black Desert Online: An Oasis For Sandbox MMORPG Lovers". Game Informer. 28 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Top 6 Modern MMOs to Play". GamingRespawn. 11 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Black Desert for Xbox One Gets New Trailer Boasting its Top-Notch Character Customization". Twinfinite. 2019-02-26. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  4. ^ "BLACK DESERT, INTERVISTA ESCLUSIVA". Worldsfactory. 18 April 2013. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013.
  5. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (18 April 2013). "Black Desert interview talks active combat and the big picture". Massively. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ "Black Desert Pre-beta Interview with the Producer Kim Daeil". 2p.com. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Black Desert: A Revolution in the Making". freemmostation.com. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  8. ^ a b Palumbo, Alessio (28 August 2013). "Black Desert Gameplay and Interview". Worlds Factory. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Black Desert – Closed Beta Videos, Screenshots & Updates Day 4". MMOCast. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Black Desert Real Time Weather". steparu.com. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  11. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (8 October 2012). "Black Desert shows off time transitions". Massively. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ "Black Desert Housing System". steparu.com. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  13. ^ Reahard, Jef (24 September 2012). "Black Desert's housing system detailed". Massively. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. ^ a b "Black Desert – Interview with developer Pearl Abyss". MMO Culture. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Story | Black Desert Fansite". black-desert.com. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  16. ^ Fuller, Garrett (4 July 2013). "Daeil Kim On What Sets Their Game Apart". mmorpg.com. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  17. ^ a b c "Black Desert Online Interview". steparu.com. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  18. ^ "从战斗到战争!访《黑色沙漠》开发商CEO". 17173.com. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013. (in Chinese)
  19. ^ Park, Kyung-Min (13 September 2013). "R2 C9의 김대일 PD, 신규개발사 펄어비스로 컴백". inven. Retrieved 19 October 2013. (in Korean)
  20. ^ Yamaguchi, Kazunori (8 September 2012). "最新グラフィックスで描かれる次世代アクションMMORPG「黒い砂漠(仮)」日本独占ライセンス契約調印式詳報". 4Gamer.net. Retrieved 19 October 2013. (in Japanese)
  21. ^ "[G*Star 2012] Black Desert – Preparing to launch next year". MMO Culture. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  22. ^ Guthrie, M.J. (27 August 2013). "Black Desert Gamescom video shows 22 minutes of gameplay". Massively. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  23. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (26 September 2013). "Black Desert starts its first closed beta on October 17th". Massively. Archived from the original on 10 May 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  24. ^ "Black Desert Closed Beta Day 1: Videos, Screenshots & Updates". MMOsite.com. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  25. ^ "Black Desert Second Closed Beta Lasts for about Three Weeks". 2p. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  26. ^ Reahard, Jef (21 March 2014). "Black Desert ramping up beta testing". Massively. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  27. ^ "Everything You Need to Know about Black Desert So Far". 2p. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Black Desert Online important pre-launch info". Black Desert Online. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  29. ^ a b Kain, Erik (25 January 2013). "'Black Desert' Is An Amazing Looking MMORPG, And It Has The Trailer To Prove It,". Forbes. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  30. ^ "Black Desert Online: Overview". freemmostation.com. February 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  31. ^ "《黑色沙漠》公開新一波遊戲畫面 一展遊戲內生活化的風貌 或開發PS4版本". gamer.com.tw. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013. (in Chinese)
  32. ^ "Press Release: Black Desert West will be B2P - Black Desert Action Fantasy MMORPG".
  33. ^ "[Ended] Regular Maintenance".
  34. ^ "Shiver Me Timbers! Black Desert Online Reels In Pirate-Themed Mediah Part Two Update".
  35. ^ "Black Desert Online Ninja and Kunoichi classes release next week". PC Invasion. 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  36. ^ "Black Desert Online: Dark Knight Awakening Coming Next Week to NA and EU". 2P. 6 April 2017.
  37. ^ Janca, Ben (2017-05-18). "Black Desert Online - Official Striker Trailer". GameSpot. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  38. ^ "Black Desert Online's Newest Class Lahn is Now Available". GamingBolt.com. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  39. ^ "Premier aperçu de la Shai de Black Desert Online". JeuxOnLine (in French). Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  40. ^ "Valencia Part One Expansion Out".
  41. ^ "[Update: New gameplay trailer] Pearl Abyss will launch Black Desert Mobile globally on Android this year". Android Police. 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  42. ^ "Information on future plans for the development of the Black Desert Russia service". 13 October 2018.
  43. ^ "Announcement: Server Provider Change". 5 April 2018.
  44. ^ "Patch Notes - 20th February 2019". www.blackdesertonline.com. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  45. ^ De Meo, Francesco (29 March 2017). "Black Desert Online Console Release Being Worked On By Pearl Abyss".
  46. ^ "Pearl Abyss on Twitter". 27 March 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  47. ^ "Black Desert Holding Final Beta for Xbox One Beginning on Valentines Day". DualShockers. 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  48. ^ Fahey, Mike. "The Xbox One Version Of Black Desert Is Missing Three Years' Worth Of Content". Kotaku. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  49. ^ "Black Desert for Xbox One Getting Four New Playable Classes Next Week". Twinfinite. 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  50. ^ Brandon Orselli (2019-07-03). "PS4 Port for Black Desert Launches August 22". Niche Gamer. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  51. ^ "Black Desert Mobile: Watch the First Gameplay Trailer". 2P. 16 August 2017.
  52. ^ "Black Desert Mobile will launch CBT this February". GamerBraves. 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  53. ^ "[Update: New gameplay trailer] Pearl Abyss will launch Black Desert Mobile globally on Android this year". Android Police. 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  54. ^ a b "Black Desert Online for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  55. ^ "Black Desert for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  56. ^ VanOrd, Kevin (1 April 2016). "Black Desert Online Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  57. ^ Johnson, Leif (16 March 2016). "Black Desert Online Review". IGN. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
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  59. ^ "Black Desert Online Sells 400.000 Copies in its First Month". develop. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  60. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (5 April 2016). "Black Desert Online sold 400,000 copies its first month in the west". VG24/7. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  61. ^ "Black Desert Has 3.4 Million Players in NA and EU Servers". 2P. 3 March 2017.
  62. ^ "Black Desert Online Hits 1.2 Million Sales on Steam". GamingBolt.com. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  63. ^ "Black Desert Online Celebrates 10 Million Registered Users Worldwide". Gamasutra. 5 September 2018.
  64. ^ Arroyo, Paolo (2019-04-11). "Black Desert Online Hits $1 Billion In Sales". Player.One. Retrieved 2019-06-21.

External linksEdit