Yesterday, Daum — or I suppose we should be calling it Kakao Games Europe now — posted up a quick Black Desert FAQ with answers from the devs. There’s a bit about dyes, GvG, and Sorceress balance, but the larger part of the Q&A is about pay-to-win.
“There are a number of topics pertaining the debates around MMORPG, some of which are Gear2Win vs. Control2Win, and Pay2Win vs. Time2Win,” writes the company.
“To comment on Gear2Win, playing a game itself might not turn out to be fruitful at all if hard-earned gears are not as effective as they seemed to be. If a player has better equipment, it is likely that the player has invested a lot of time in the game, presumably mastering game controls along the way. Considering such cases, the Gear2Win controversy seems inevitable, but it is not just about gears. The important thing in the Gear2Win thing is how to keep the equilibrium. Even with high level and excellent gears, some players might not be fluent in control. In making a combat between this player and another player with lesser gear and level but better control fair enough, many factors can play various roles. Fine-tuning each factor is a matter of balancing, and each player may feel and experience different things about balancing; for some, the game may seem Gear2Win, for others, it may not. Finding the perfect equilibrium is always a difficult task, but we are trying our best to make it happen.”
Kakao says that its “community as a whole has come to an agreement that these stats on the costume items do not make big enough a difference to count as Pay2Win.” Just adding stats to cash-shop gear isn’t enough to brand a game P2W, it argues, so “what’s important is how much those stats affect the gameplay.”
“An MMORPG, by default, requires a lot of time on player’s end. It is Time2Win by definition. Which also means that existing players always have some sort of advantage in MMORPG over new players. That does not mean that we are not hoping new players enjoy enough of Black Desert, which is why there has been recent adjustments of monster balance and growth EXP. We understand, depending on situations, that existing players may stand against some changes that seem to benefit new players more. However, we believe that the constant influx of new players will enrich Black Desert and all the players in the long run.”