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Black Desert Online

is an upcoming sandbox-oriented massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Korean video game developer Pearl Abyss. read more

Platforms PC
Developers XLGAMES...
Status: Released
Release: 31-Dec-2014

is an upcoming sandbox-oriented massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Korean video game developer Pearl Abyss.

The game has been in development since 2010, and entered closed beta testing (CBT) in October 2013. The game uses Pearl Abyss' own "Black Desert" engine specifically created to handle the fast rendering required for its seamless world and large-scale castle sieges. Black Desert uses a free-to-play model although no further details of the business model or revenue generation have been announced. It will initially be released on the Microsoft Windows platform, and Jaemin Youn, Pearl Abyss' Chief Operations Officer, has announced that the developer has begun talks with Sony Computer Entertainment regarding a version for the PlayStation 4.

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Black Desert 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.

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The game includes a number of features to assist with immersion and the sandbox aspect. These include:
A parkour system, similar to that seen in Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed, allowing players to climb, explore and interact with buildings and obstacles.
A dynamic, worldwide weather system which will include large scale events such as typhoons and will influence gameplay. Localized weather will include events such as temporary fog which players may exploit to launch surprise attacks on rival guild structures. Seasonal weather changes or travelling to areas with different climates will require the player to adjust their equipment, for example using warmer clothing in cold weather which also impacts on a player's statistics.
A dynamic day/night cycle with a gradual progression of lighting effects. During the night some NPCs will become unavailable as they return home while the number and type of monsters that a player may encounter will increase. Different game content will be available depending upon whether it is night or day.
Player housing will be instanced and will vary from tents through to more substantial houses and buildings. Players will be able to furnish and equip their housing and may hire NPCs to set up as traders from the building.
Players will be able to engage in mounted combat. Mounts are acquired by taming in the wild and players are able to breed special mounts by mating certain types. Mounts require feeding and care, cannot be stored in the inventory, and may be killed.

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Pearl Abyss was founded in September 2010 by Kim Daeil, previously a developer with Hangame and NHN Gaming, and began development of Black Desert shortly after. The company did not publicise the project initially, and Kim has said: "We actually wanted to wait out on publicly announcing this game since we wanted to develop more things... We thought that we shouldn't release too much information on our game just yet." The first year of development involved concept design for the game and building a custom engine. Kim said: "Our company consists of a lot of veteran game programmers and developers so creating a new engine wasn't that hard. We needed a special engine just for Black Desert mainly because it is a seamless world and needed an engine that can render a lot of characters very fast and easy." Using their own engine rather than a proprietary engine such as the CryEngine or Unreal Engine also eased debugging and customization for the developers.
After agreeing a Japanese publishing deal with GameOn Japan on 8 September 2012 Pearl Abyss began releasing details of the game to the public. In November 2012 the game was demonstrated at G-Star, the Korean annual trade show for the computer and video games industry. Black Desert was also showcased in August 2013 at gamescom, held in Cologne, Germany, where Pearl Abyss revealed that they had been approached by "many" interested publishers in the North American and European markets but were waiting for the closed beta release before progressing deals.

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Beta testing

CBT was initially scheduled for July 2013, but was pushed back to October 2013 while the developers refined the client. The CBT, IP-locked to allow Korean players only, commenced 17 October 2013, scheduled to run until 23 October 2013. The CBT was organised to test different features of the game each day, beginning with the quest and combat systems on days 1 and 2, progressing through the player housing system, player guilds, sieges, the trading system, NPC interactions and PvP on subsequent days.
A second CBT, also IP locked for Korean players only, was scheduled for a 3 week period commencing 22 April 2014. An open beta is expected in the second half of 2014.

Game localization

In February 2014 Pearl Abyss announced that a publishing deal had been secured for the Russian market and the process of localizing the client was in progress. An English-language client is also in development although no publisher has been selected.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Black Desert, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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