Greetings Adventurers, This is Jae-hee Kim, the Executive Producer in charge of development for Black Desert Online. The new year of 2019 has finally arrived! I hope you all happiness, fortune, and success as you attempt Enhancement this year. It’s been 34 months since Black Desert Online first launched in March 2016 for NAEU. Black Desert Online is a MMORPG where you can experience awesome adventures in a vast open world with various elements. This is the third year since the official launch of Black Desert Online in NAEU. These years were filled with endless updates which led to countless emotional rollercoasters alongside our Adventurers of success and failures, happiness and sadness, anticipation and fears. There were many good moments, but there were also some troubling moments for our Adventurers and us developers as well. We’ve learned much during this time. With our experience, we would like to share with you on how we plan to move forward with Black Desert Online. - New Endeavors Starting from beta on 2016, Black Desert Online has grown in depth as we have consistently updated new contents without rest. This led to small changes causing a butterfly effect as they would get entangled with older contents and cause unpredictable results. These are a few reasons why we were unable to actively apply major changes. This situation only continued to grow, and it has come to a point where we thought it may be difficult to present exciting updates for our new and old Adventurers. Therefore, our goal for this year is to make Black Desert Online even more vibrant and filled with more exciting new contents by making it an MMORPG that is easy to comprehend and enjoyed by gamers who are not used to such intensive adventures. - Revealing Enhancement Success Rates So, the first step we will be taking on January 16th, 2019, will be to reveal the Enhancement success rates. In an MMORPG, there is a lot of definition of becoming stronger. In Black Desert Online, it could mean that you are more likely to be victorious in Node War, Conquest War, and other PVP contents, or be able to defeat monsters faster so that you can gain EXP and items faster. Out of these, you could say that gaining EXP and items can be the most attractive trait of an RPG. Adventurers can grow stronger by leveling, learning better skills, and by improving their own mastery and knowledge of their class. However, in the world of Black Desert Online, one of the most definitive ways for adventurers to feel that increase in power is through gaining better gear from Enhancement. Enhancement is a key content in Black Desert Online and we strived to make it more approachable since its release. There were numerous attempts such as increasing your probability of success when you fail an attempt (also known as fail stacks). Safe Enhancement was also added for Enhancement at low levels and guaranteed their success. Still, it was not an easy task to introduce the Enhancement system to new Adventurers. Especially, at PRI and higher levels where failing lowers your Enhancement level, a gap in game knowledge became apparent between Adventurers that knew how to increase their chances of success and ones that did not. Therefore, we decided to display the actual numbers to help Adventurers that were struggling with the Enhancement system so that the actual increase in chance is displayed every time an attempt fails. There are no changes made to the actual success rate so this should not be a big change for our veteran Adventurers. However, this should help new Adventurers trying their hand on Enhancement. Along with this change, the Enhancement UI is currently being reworked so that all the crucial information can be displayed in a way that can be understood in a single glance. - Going beyond MMORPG… entering the Shadow Arena: Battle Royale Black Desert Online works hard to go beyond the limitation of the MMORPG genre. The new Shadow Arena is a step in this direction. It will be easy to play even for potential Adventurers that find RPG difficult as everyone starts on a level playing field. Players that don’t have much time or find Black Desert Online difficult can enjoy the rather easily accessible game of Shadow Arena. Not only that, playing in Shadow Arena will help them grow in Black Desert Online as well. Shadow Arena follows the popular battle royale trend and allows Adventurers to fight with the same level, items, and choices of classes regardless of when they started. Shadow Arena has undergone testing since December last year on the Global Lab server. We’ve received many feedback and suggestions during this time. An Early Access version of the Shadow Arena will be launched soon and continuous improvements will be made on the content. (Exact date of release will be announced in the near future.) We will do our best to make Shadow Arena enjoyable for all Adventurers, including those who are not familiar with Black Desert Online. - Central Market The coming of the new Central Market was mentioned a couple of times before and will be released soon. The previous Marketplace made it difficult for a free economy due to the restrictions on the minimum/maximum prices. There were definite pros such as allowing new Adventurers to get items through fair competition. However, it also restricted exchanges among users, which is a major fun factor for MMORPG. We have tried coming up with solutions for the issues in the Marketplace through numerous updates. However, it just ended up creating more restrictions such as price fluctuation restrictions, bidding method/amount restrictions, etc. So, we tried looking into the core issues with the Marketplace and came to the conclusion that they could not be fixed in the current system. This is when we decided to create an even more active market system. The new Central Market gives the economy increased freedom. Maximum/ minimum prices still exist, however, the range in which prices can be set have been increased. This should resolve the issue where item prices were either too high or too low and allow sellers to receive adequate payment for their items. Also, in order to prevent market price manipulation, everyone will be able to see items with high price fluctuations. Those who attempt to abuse the Central Market will be at a systematic disadvantage. The Central Market will also have additional security measures. Not only that, we are preparing to launch a Central Market website that can be accessed on your PC and mobile devices once the market has stabilized. This website will allow you to access the Central Market without logging into the game. This new and lively market is planned to be released soon. - Territory War Conquest War became a place where only the top-tier guilds could compete. Adventurers would have to become a member of these guilds to participate in a Conquest War. We introduced rule changes to Node War and Conquest War hoping for more Adventurers would participate. However, Adventurers were forced to adapt to the changing rules which in the end did not make the wars easier to fight and made the Militia more difficult in both utilization and accessibility. Therefore, we are preparing a war on a grander scale where even more Adventurers can participate without being in a large guild and feel like they are included in a country. Territory War is fought between guilds that own level 3, 4 nodes in Calpheon or Valencia territory. These guilds will have to fight intense battles as a representative of that nation and defeat the other nation’s General Commander NPC to win. If you die, you will not be able to continue to fight in Territory War on the same day. Therefore, survival is of utmost importance. Unity and tactics will be the deciding factor on which nation wins. Territory War will be the greatest war that is held in the open world of Black Desert Online. This war is far beyond the scale of Node War or Conquest War. You will be able to try Territory War starting on January 16th, 2019, in the Global Lab. It will be released to you all once it has been streamlined. - Heroes of the Battlefield Heroes of the Battlefield will be a new system replacing the existing Militia system. In the current system, when Adventurers become stronger, it becomes necessary for them to move to a stronger guild or a guild that participates in more wars to experience a bigger battle scene. Heroes of the Battlefield is a system where Adventurers can still be a part of the guild they are in but participate in Node War or Conquest War as a mercenary. As long as the guild participating in the Node / Conquest War doesn’t exceed the maximum number of participants, they are able to recruit Heroes of the Battlefield as temporary mercenaries. Adventurers can apply to specific guilds and the guild master of the guild can accept the Heroes of the Battlefield by paying a contract fee. Once the Adventurer joins the guild, they can participate in any of the wars the new guild engages in. Their contract will end at midnight and they will be returned to their original guild after receiving payment. This can benefit both the guilds and Adventurers since guilds can always maintain maximum war participants by recruiting mercenaries to replace members who cannot attend, and Adventurers can participate in wars anytime without having to leave their guild. Furthermore, Adventurers can achieve honor by having their family name by getting ranked for the Heroes of the Battlefield. - Meaning of Adventures and Adventurers Black Desert Online is a MMORPG that features adventures in the open world where you can experience exhilarating action with unique classes in breathtaking terrains. Until now, the biggest part of the Black Desert Online's adventures has been item performance. Stronger items made combat more efficient, and better gear meant a higher chance of winning in PvP as well. Adventurers naturally focused their gameplay around improving gear. After gaining one Enhancement level there was another to achieve, therefore the game revolved around how fast Adventurers can make silver to enhance more gear. As earning silver became the main goal, contents that earned less silver compared to the time and effort invested began to fall out. We endeavored to make all contents in the game to be meaningful, but at the end of the day the only importance was how much silver it made. In order to solve these problems, one solution is to reveal the Enhancement success rates, another is to strengthen the meaning of adventure in the Black Desert Online world. Some Adventurers enjoy fishing while others love to cook. Some may love to climb mountains or go on expeditions. We plan to make all these activities even more meaningful, so that Adventurers can experience growth regardless of the path they choose. 1. Adventurer's Tome We are looking to revamp the Adventurer's Tome and add another function. The Adventurer’s Tome can be obtained by completing the main story quest up to Calpheon. Adventurers who have an Adventurer’s Tome can obtain more Prognyl Silver Bars, contribution points, and more as rewards for certain quests. The new function will be added to provide new quests in the form of missions. Characters can receive various rewards that will help them grow upon completion of these missions. 2. Secret Adventure Journal (Under Development) The Mysteries of Summer event held last summer was a great challenge for both us and the Adventurers, but it was worthwhile to see Adventurers in all regions work together to solve the riddles and enjoy the event. We are planning to implement a new system called the Secret Adventurer Journal so that Adventurers have another chance to experience the secret quests. Adventurers can obtain rewards by solving riddles through hints that will be provided in update notes and in-game. - This game is too hard! The first thing that comes to mind when one says Black Desert Online is ‘complicated’, ‘hard’, and ‘time consuming’. Black Desert Online is full of various contents which can be difficult for Adventurers to grasp at once, therefore we added guides, tutorials, detailed quest instructions, and videos to help. However, it was still quite hard for Adventurers to understand the entire system before getting used to the game itself. As we are revealing the Enhancement success rate as a reinforcement of the nonintrusive system, we are even considering locking some of the contents such as housing, trade, and others until a certain requirement is met. Simultaneously, we are also looking to make these systems much more straightforward and simpler. In the coming months, we are looking to apply various changes to many of our contents to make them less complicated and more approachable for our Adventurers. - Happy New Year! 2019 will be a year for us to prepare for the long journey ahead. It has already been 3 years since Black Desert Online launched, and we hope to continue our journey with our Adventurers in the upcoming years. We will strive to make Black Desert Online a fun and enjoyable game regardless of its genre, and not a MMORPG that is difficult and hard for adventurers to immerse into. So please don’t hesitate to give us your feedback and support! Happy new year!