Black Desert’s battle royale mode, Shadow Arena, hits early access for current players today

    
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Black Desert is formally hopping on the battle royale bandwagon this week with the “early access” release of Shadow Arena today. How does a fully launched MMORPG run an “early access” mode? Why not call it a beta? Who knows, man, it’s 2019, people just do whatever now. The mode is available during specific test windows for existing players as well as those gaming on their seven-day trial. Kakao is calling it a “battle royale experience like no other,” but it actually looks a lot like the BR mode Skyforge rolled out in 2018, as you’ll be playing prefab classes.

“Shadow Arena is a new mode that pits up to 50 players against each other in a struggle for survival. Gather supplies and outwit your opponents to become the last person standing. Players will start the match as a ‘Black Spirit’, a small flying specter that can then possess the bodies of one of the playable classes in Black Desert Online. For the Early Access version, the Warrior, Sorceress, Berserker, Tamer, Valkyrie, Wizard, Witch, Dark Knight and Mystic will be available allowing participants to pick from nine different playstyles. By roaming the arena after finding their preferred class, players can gather skills, weapons, armor, accessories and special items such as flares, potions, traps and more. It will be essential for victory that players strategically acquire their skills and items to deal with the opposition.”

Today’s patch also adds some new hunting content for PvE players and tweaks the relatively new Archer in the original game too.

Source: Press release, patch notes
Update
Looks like it’s gonna be a rocky launch indeed.

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Arsin Halfmoon

Diggin the new mode, it’s fun. Rough around the edges but theres something here. Literally my first battke royale too. Best part is how we all start on the same footing too.

This really fits in with BDO too, I think players will really like this mode with a few mechanical tweaks.

A few things they can do is add a place to try out the classes in the lobby so players know what their kit is. I main tamer and I didnt know what skills I had access to from the start. Many of the fights dont seem as nuanced for that reason too, because players are probably playing classes for the first time, its diwn ti how many autoattacks hit first

Looking forward, i’d really like them to have more pvp modes where players all start in even footing. Heck even a switch where you can item and level sync duels would be enough for me.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Can a Battle Royale MMO work? Or is that an oxymoron? Not talking about a optional battle royale mode in a MMO, but a battle royale game that is a full blown MMO.

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Arktouros

The two genres typically tend to pull in complete opposite directions as far as game design goes. That’s actually what makes it such a great addition for BDO, which is notoriously grind heavy, because it’s a new PvP mode where the amount of persistent progression/grind you’ve done has no impact. That means a veteran who’s played for 3 years is more or less on the same footing as someone who just downloads the game.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

The only MMO that remotely resembles a battle royale slightly is maybe Crowfall with it’s “dying world campaign” concept.

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Arsin Halfmoon

In an odd way, BDO and other open world PVP mmos are battle royales on a larger scale because of having to defend grindspots and players who literally just play to PK. This is a pretty natural fit. I wouldnt say the same if they try this out in FFXIV though.

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Arktouros

Battle Royale memes aside, the big news today in BDO is they doubled the price of Cron Stones. For those who don’t know, cron stones allow you to enhance without sliding backwards at higher enhancement levels. So if you fail +18 you won’t fall back to +16 but you also won’t generate failstacks. The amount needed is based on value (IE: 500m item takes 500m in cron stones to protect).

These are especially important because months ago they allowed NA/EU players to melt cash shop costumes to get cron stones implementing full on, direct p2w into the game. However because cron stones now have double value, that makes buying a costume to melt for crons twice as effective. This dropped buying a PEN attempt from $140 or so down to $70 supposedly. It also had the unintended side effect of doubling the price of T9 attempts which require a flat 100 crons which is now 200m per attempt.

The question being thrown around is was this change due to the fact we can now see the enhancement success changes in the game? So when players are looking at PEN attempts they now can see even with 160 stacks it’s only around a 5% chance of success. Who really is going to keep paying $140 an attempt if you only have 100 stack and looking at a 2-3% chance of success?

In KR news there’s big shifts to the global market and the way silver is handled in game. Silver no longer has a weight limit, but you can only carry 100m at a time. They also changed plans for some of the central market such as where before the market orders at maximum price were given out sequentially (FIFO) they are now chosen at random meaning you have no idea when you put money down on an item when or if you’ll ever get it. Sea Monster Hunting was also nerfed, but not enough to combat or do with anything related to the high amount of RMT being done via sea monster hunting in every region at this point (will just increase the price of silver payouts).

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rafael12104

Ah, yes. Proving once again that most devs are just sheep. Or maybe it is more accurate to say execs grow wool over time.

So, are all MMORPGs going to contain a BR module now?

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Matthäus Wey

Tbh I wouldn’t mind having a not so generic PvP mode in more MMORPGs.

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Arktouros

But I want to play Capture the Flag or Conquest Ticket system for the 80 billionth time!!!1

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Armsbend

Finally all of Massivelys readership’s dreams are coming true. Grats everyone – long time coming.

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Arktouros

Here’s why I like this.

It isn’t stand alone.

A lot of companies would make some stand alone version of this and try to launch it as a separate product. What BDO is doing instead is incorporating the game mode into the game similar to the way a game like WOW would add a new battleground. So it’s more of a free bonus for existing players than really some stand alone cash grab on the side.

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Armsbend

I like it as a mode honestly. I just know it ruffles some feathers :)

heck, I gave epic $10 bucks to try the game out for a month.