Black Desert explains its new ‘single global build’ philosophy


Just in time for the Olympics, Kakao is bringing east and west together in Black Desert. In the game’s latest dev letter, the studio explains that up until the latest patch in Korea, attack efficiency for Korean players was different than on western servers. Recent patches, however, brought them into parity.

“Effectively, with the aforementioned patch for the KR server, all regions now have the same balance systems applied,” says the studio. “We aim to develop Black Desert Online as a Single Global Build. By doing so, we believe that it will benefit both our players and us, as developers. It will allow the latest patches to be applied to all regions more quickly than any other game, and enable us to quickly reflect even the tiniest detail of valuable user feedback. Anyone who enjoys Black Desert Online will always have the same optimal experience from any region.”

There’s more to the plan than optimal experience, however: The company is also looking ahead to global PvP.

“By implementing the same balance change to all regions, we will be able to move one step closer to one of our future goals, a Global Arsha PvP Tournament and Global Siege War. As much as we want to share more details to our players, unfortunately, it is not possible for us to do since it is still in the early concept phase. It excites us just by imagining a system which will allow players to compete with others from different regions. We will strive to make this a reality in the near future. We apologize again for not delivering sufficient information in advance, and will do our best to prevent such misunderstandings in the future.”

The dev blog also asserts that the game has “grow[n] steadily to what it is now,” with “new and returning Adventurers are on the rise, and tons of new content is being added to the game in North America & Europe region, faster than ever before.” Western players are getting a seven-day combat booster as a thank-you. Yay free stuff!

Source: Dev letter. Thanks, Arktouros!

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This is code for “We got tired of localizing to NA/EU preferences because it’s too much time and money so you’re getting what the Koreans get”. TERA did this after a few years of success as well with customized regional builds. What ends up happening is Western players see changes they don’t necessarily want and sometimes don’t like at all. I don’t play BDO anymore so not affected by this either way, but it’s always unfortunate to see this happen in any game. No matter how much money Western gamers bring in, they always focus on the Korean fans.

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If the code base is maintained by the same people, then of course it makes a lot more sense to keep one branch instead of multiple. I also don’t get why people want to be treated differently by the same developer, and people who want that makes me feel unfortunate.


I still don’t understand why they needed to use this weird leasing system for the Arsha Arena. I lost all interest in the game after they did that.

Matt R

Western players are going to get their butts kicked hard once they run into eastern players. There is a reason why the only new mmos are from the east, because they love the grind.


Seems like it would reduce cycle time and make the whole game more consistent.
On the negative side, global PVP is hard with 100+ms pings.


If nothing else I’m looking forward to seeing how the Global Siege battles work out!


Sounds very similar to what happened with TERA. Publisher says they’ll tailor an Eastern title in ways that suit an NA audience, patch cycle is slightly behind Eastern with changes, slowly the NA catches up to Eastern with less and less adaptions, eventually NA and Eastern have identical patches that are based mostly off of Eastern player feedback. What that means for BDO is unknown, but for TERA that was when the blatantly pay-to-win items hit the NA cash shops.


I notice the tera cash shop is massive now but what pww do they have(do not doubt you for a second just want to know what)


Mind you, I haven’t played in awhile but this was like when I quit.

First, there was extensive alkhest. This was enchanting powder that came from lock boxes in the cash shop which had improved odds of successfully raising an enchanting level compared to the normal alkhest you could buy on a merchant.

Then there were blessed and noble enigmatic scrolls which also came in lockboxes. Unlike regular master enigmatic scrolls one of these scrolls had increased odds to master work a piece of gear and the other gave you guaranteed masterwork.

Then there were spell binds which, you guessed it, came in lockboxes. This powder allowed you to save specific random rolls on gear when you identified it. This allows you to get the perfect rolls easier and for less rerolls.

They also had special events for their strongboxes which when opened with keys from the cash shop had the chance to give enchanting and identifing materials in large quantities.

On top of that they sold instance lockout reset scrolls granting you the ability to rerun dungeons that you should be locked out from. Essentially, if you paid money you could run dungeons for loot as many times as you want verse having to week a day or week.

Finally, all of the cosmetics from the cash shop can be sold for gold which could be used to buy bind on equip pve gear, enchanting materials, identifing materials, and materials used to craft the best gear (via argon vitriol).

As I said in the beginning, I’m sure some of this is outdated now, but that was the state of the pay to win when I left.


Why do I have a feeling Global PVP doesn’t work out well for the NA/EU crowd? Just betting we get absolutely destroyed

Toy Clown

Moreso in my mind is the perspectives. Asians are known for being more focused on grindy aspects to become the best in a game, they aren’t able to be anonymous on the internet, and they also tend to play together in group settings such as internet cafes vs. Americans who prefer to pay their way to the top, who become toxic and abusive toward players better than them, and who hide their true identities on the internet.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the groups are unleashed onto each other.


So you are saying Americans (and that I assume you mean any non-eastern players) like to pay to win ?

Sally Bowls

This makes a lot of sense. A lot of commenters want non-NA – a/k/a Asian – devs to localize for the NA/EU/AUNZ market. But as a consultant said, if you do that might as well make two games. So a global game will sell less than one redesigned for NA (e.g. grind and lootboxes), but the on-going costs could easily make a single global brand more profitable.