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Zhaltor added a topic in SuggestionsState of Black Desert: A Challenge to KakaoSo this post is a bit of a challenge for Kakao Games to redeem this game. Its currently in a pretty sore state, there are tonnes of things that will turn potential players off. There are huge scars around this game that will probably never fully heal. That being said, I still believe you can do something about this and this game can still redeem it self so long correct actions are taken by its publishers and developers. Take an example from ESO, it started off quite poorly, but it revamped a lot of its content and is now one of my favourite games. With this post, I will be outlining what I find to be the main issues in the game, and suggesting some improvements. It will be separated into 3 main sections, Gameplay, Monetization and Communication. With this post, I am also challenging the team at Kakao to respond to my concerns.
So: @CM_Aethon, @PM_Jouska. Are you ready to prove to me that you care about this game? I want you to cut the bullshit and respond with actual reasoning behind agreeing/disagreeing with anything in this post. I want to know if you care enough to show me that there is still something to look for in this game without your usual cleverly ambiguous marketing.
I felt I would start off with the easy one. The gameplay in Black Desert is mostly solid. The combat is very satisfying, the world is huge and filled with interesting locations, the overall crafting, node system and trading are adequate and provide for some fun things to do while in game. While I think there is a lot of fun to be had in this game, its all brought down by a couple of issues:
1) The enchanting system is too heavily reliant on dice rolls
2) Enemies are mostly bland with very few unique attack patterns and numb AI
3) Player Interaction outside of combat is pretty much non-existant
The current enchantment system is good at dragging out the process of moving forward, and infuriating the player in the process. The low chances if success will easily frustrate players and decrease retention rates. It is a mechanic clearly designed with the thought of selling enchant aiding items on the cash shop. Generally, a complete overhaul (much like the one to the skill system) would be in order. I have thought of two solutions for this issue:
1) Implement an "Enchantment" life skill. That skill would raise every time you enchant an item, no matter if you succeed or fail. Increasing that skill would increase your chances of enchanting, +1% per level. With this, allow enchanting of items not for your selves but for other players for a price in silver. What this would create is a need for dedicated enchanters who could sell their services to other players. It would put the RNG away from players who dislike that aspect of the game and allow for a new profession and level of interaction between players.
2) Make it so the first 15 levels are a flat amount of stones, no RNG involved. It would make the overall process less gruelling and should be an easy fix. Yes, it doesn't remove the grind, but it alleviates some of it. Instead of looking for stones and hoping you get what you need, you know that this amount of stones put into this weapon will level it up.
So this one is a bit of a tough one. Combat in Black Desert is pretty solid, the abilities are satisfying to use and there is a lot of skill involved in combat encounters. Sadly, PvE ven be somewhat excluded from this statement. Enemies in PvE are incredibly numb and their attack patterns are mostly limited to "run up to enemy, hit, repeat". There are many improvements that could be done here. Firstly, increasing enemy attack speed. Not by much, however a lot of the enemies attack way too slowly, its pretty easy to react to them. This game's difficulty is built up on the idea of being swarmed with enemies, except you can only be attacked by 7 at once. Increasing enemy attack speed is the first step you should take. Additionally, giving abilities to enemies would allow for them to feel like more than just punching bags needed for levelling. You have a lot of abilities you give you players, with animations, cast times and cooldowns. Giving some of those to enemies would do wonders in making PvE more interesting. If you were to take it a step further, implementing joint attacks for some enemies would make the whole idea of being swarmed so much more exciting. Lets say you are fighting a bunch of swordsmen standing in front of some archers. The swordsmen have shields they use to prevent your attacks, while the archers use a joins ability, rain of arrows. It would require just this slight higher amount of thought to handle this encounter.
1c. Player Interaction:
As this is an MMO, player interaction is a pretty massive part of the game, but in this instance its mostly limited to combat encounters. What I'd suggest is using mechanics unique to this game to its advantage. What I am referring to here is the node system. Currently, the node system is used for trading, guild wars and increase in gains from a region. Those systems however are pretty much fully separate and have no interaction between one another. This is where I think a lot of hidden inter-player interaction lies:
1) Guild who owns a node should have the ability to affect players using it
2) Players who use a node should have an effect on the guild that owns it
3) Both should contribute to both prices of trades and effectiveness of trade routes
Solution 1 - Node Management and the Morale System:
With this system, a new stat for each player is added called Morale. Morale is a star that functions a lot like contribution, where each player gets a set amount of it at character creation, and looses some on death. Once a player is in a guild, their morale will get added to the overall guild Morale pool which the guild can invest into nodes to give them global effects. For example, a guild can invest morale to increase overall drops at the node, or to increase the upkeep for players using it (which would increase the guild's income). With this system, players would indirectly interact with one another. A guild could own a node, affect its outcome, causing shifts in the economy and player's opinion of the guild. Players who disliked the guild could target its members to decrease their morale causing some of the effects they put over nodes to become null.
Solution 2 - Incremental node gains/losses based on usage:
With this one, players do not have that much control over the nodes, but the nodes are affected by all players. Players can invest into a node to increase its overall amount of resources, not only increasing the drops for your self, but also any other players working in the area. In other words, instead of nodes being a separate instance for each player, they are instead global where all players can contribute to improvement. Additionally, as players take a bite of the resources in a region, they increase with their drop off rate being based on the amount of players consuming the resource as well as the amount of players who invested in a node. With this, an additional tweak would be having nodes affect movement speed while trading. This would encourage a player to go through more popular nodes when trading, allowing the more murderous ones to plan out ambushes in locations that are more likely to be used by traders.
-Allow for sharing of items via warehouse (at the very least allow use a warehouse of a friend for resources when crafting)
-Allow for stealing of trade items/profiting from pillaging trade routes
-Improve class synergy, add abilities for each class that create effects for other classes to use. (e.g.: warrior shield bash stun on boss, musa roundabout kick to knock down when stunned)
This one is quite important, the way this game is monetised is probably one of the biggest turn offs to other players. Currently the game consists of a 30 Euro entry fee as well as a cash shop in which the only cosmetic items are dyes, and a monthly convenience sub. Yes, the entrance fee does give you some items which value at a bit higher price than the price of the entrance fee, but this is not how players see this. They see an entrance fee required to enter a game, it doesn't matter if it saves you money because its a requirement. There are multiple things that could be done to make this situation better, and there are many benefits for giving the cash shop a small redesign.
Firstly, either remove stats from costumes, or decrease their prices. The current prices for outfits are absolutely ridiculous, and the fact that they give players additional stats is just worsening the appeal of the game. Considering that a full outfit will set you back 29 Euro, which is nearly the price of entry, they shouldn't improve your stats and be just cosmetic. People will still buy them, people like their cosmetics. And if you can bring up more players by making your business model better, you have more potential buyers for the outfits.
Secondly, remove storage expansions from the shop. I am honestly quite fine with the inventory expansions, but storage slots are a bit much. To get storage in game, you have to sacrifice crafting workshops, allowing one to get those without doing so is pretty much a straight up advantage. While weight and inventory slot expansions are in a similar boat and their removal would be ideal, I feel like if can stay for an extra bit of income for the company.
Thirdly, cut the value pack. On one side, it will give you income, on the other it will put off players from getting the game. You can keep the dye subscription and the appearance, that is a perfectly fine way for you to get income and is overall less of a discouragement to new players looking to play the game. Having 3 subscription types for your game is overkill and should not be a thing you do. Maybe if you cut some of the stats from the value pack such as the marketplace income bonus, but in its current state its a pretty unacceptable item.
Lastly, selling items on the marketplace, its not a bad choice. It allows for all players to get markerplace items, however it also allows players to transfer real cash into silver. So long you keep strict limits on this feature, there should be little issue with it. At the same time, as soon as you allow for too much income to be accrued from this, issues will appear.
Additionally, you should think about adding more methods of gaining loyalty. Maybe add missions that refresh daily, completing those missions grants additional loyalty. Each day you get 3 missions, each one will give you from 10-50 loyalty, where one can be replaced daily. This means that daily, you get 100 loyalty from daily login, and a potential of 150 loyalty from missions. Its a decent way of engaging your player and making the loyalty system seem a bit more fair. Missions could include things like, completing X amount of quests, or kill X amount of enemies, or harvest X amount of items, or process X amount of items... you get the gist.
This is by far the most important point out them all. I will be frank with you, your communication is horrible. We are being drop fed vague information that often isn't acted upon or misleads us to believe one thing when it is not at all your intention. Some examples include:
- Sieges which were meant to hit a month after release, however there was no mention of the feature until 3 months ago
- Awakenings which were repeatedly said to be planned to release all at once, or as many in one patch as possible which was now turned into a bi-weekly schedule
- Saying that the game will be made to fit our market, suggesting new features and EU/NA only changes where most of those are just number changes
Here are some improvements for your communication:
- Clearly state planned schedules for content releases, if you don't have schedules, get some made and attempt to stick to them
- If a schedule is known to have a chance of not being met, promptly inform the playerbase of the changes, pinpointing the reasoning behind the delay
- Keep the playerbase updated on current and future developments for the game
- Put emphasis on improvements made on to the current content, rather than just outlining future new content
- Provide more detailed patch notes, instead of just saying something changed, explain how it changed (instead of saying "X ability's damage increased, say X abilities damage raised by Y"
No, these are not exactly the easiest things to keep track of, but for god's sake, you are a business, you are being paid to do this. With how high the game prices it self currently (with the cash shop prices being what they are) I genuinely expect a lot more in terms of communication. None of these have to be instant improvements either, you can gradually work on transparency, rebuild the trust of your playerbase and hopefully spring the game right back up.
If you read this far, I want to say thank you for giving your time to my post. I invite anyone to join this discussion and am hopeful that we can avoid the usual screaming and contribute something to increase this game's playerbase and show Kakao that what they are doing is not alright. They have a great game under their wings, don't let them ruin it by tarnishing its reputation with horrible business practices.
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Zhaltor added a topic in SuggestionsMale Hair CustomisationSo I have been accepting of this game's gender lock, its limited amount of armour models, its overly annoying dye boxes, but today I have gotten to play a bit more with males in the Character Creator with the release of the Musa. Having created a Tamer and a Sorceress, I must say, the customisation on the male models is lacking. I am not sure if anyone else brought this up but please explain to me, why are the male hairstyles not customisable to the degree female hairstyles are? It makes very little sense to me considering that both genders have long and short hair presets. I am not sure how many people are bothered by this, but personally, I find that a lot of the personality in a character comes from the hair it wears and therefore I want to ask if there is any possibility to add shape manipulation for male presets.
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