“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.”
That appears to include a revamp of the enhancement system and its UI, specifically in showing clear success rates, as well as a revamp of the marketplace in the form of the central market, “war on a grander scale” for a broader base of players, a complete replacement for the militia system, and more meaningful non-combat sandbox gameplay. Finally, there’s what might be the biggest item on the list: a battle royale mode called Shadow Arena.
“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.”
— Black Desert Online PC (@BDO_News) January 8, 2019