Kakao is permanently killing off Black Desert’s battle royale mode, Shadow Arena, this week

    
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Dang, this was not the outcome we were expecting here: Kakao has announced it is outright sunsetting Black Desert’s Shadow Arena mode. On Wednesday, in fact.

MMO players will recall that Shadow Arena is a relatively new addition to the game; it’s a battle royale mode that rolled out of early access in February of this year. But it’s been nothing but trouble ever since, as hackers and exploiters swarmed the mode and made Kakao’s life hell as the company struggled to ban the offenders (and accidentally banned some innocents along the way).

It sounds like the cheaters had a lot to do with the cancellation of the mode, but so did the studio’s desire to focus on the core game instead.

“We had originally planned to provide continuous updates to Shadow Arena to keep it fresh and fun, but over time we had to consider how to balance making improvements to it, whilst working on fresh content. We felt that the focus on new updates was deviating from our original direction, partially due to the time being dedicated towards this mode. In addition, the recent rise of 3rd party software added to our concerns, making us further contemplate on its place within the scope of Black Desert Online. As a result, we have decided that partial improvements on Shadow Arena would not be enough to keep it running as a regular feature. So after much consideration and discussion, we have ultimately decided to close Shadow Arena in its current state with the April 10th maintenance.”

The company is apologizing for the move and promises compensation packages, saying it’s “currently focusing on not only introducing new content such as Star’s End, additional Adventure Log updates, and much more but also on improving the existing content already in the game.”

We played Shadow Arena when it launched back in February; you can watch our travails down below, and then check out our latest Black Desert column.

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Arktouros

This entire decision comes back to one thing: Kakao can’t and won’t manage the game they’re expected to manage.

The basic anti-hacking tool is garbage. It’s a low tier mechanism designed to keep out basic bitch things like Auto Hotkey scripting and other nonsense. They probably tried to fine tune this a bit and that’s how you ended up with them falsely banning people numerous times over and having to backtrack on it (all while acting like they could do no wrong).

This means they will have to actually hire people and police the game. However for them it’s a far more cost efficient method to just shut the whole thing down. They see their broken arm full of cuts and scrapes and basically they decided to amputate rather than invest the time in fixing it up and healing it. It just continues the point that the NA/EU and other regions are just a huge cash grab and they don’t have any plans to change the game for those other regions.

Has nothing to do with the end of the royales or royales slowing down. The game mode was a lot of fun and provided another alternative way to play the game and progress. However due to rampant, unchecked hacking it’s just not that good to play anymore and it’s cheaper for them to just shut the whole thing down than fix what their players like.

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Khrome

So much this. The anti-cheat PA is using currently simply *does not work* (aside from causing quite a few other problems), but they keep using it because they don’t have to modify the game much for its integration, and it works just fine for the Korean market (due to legislation and the way people are required to create accounts, an actual anti-cheat is not deemed necessary).

It’s also important to note that Shadow Arena did not encourage cash shop purchases much, if at all, which is likely a more important reason for them axing it.

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Utakata

Cheaters…and why players can’t have nice things. /le sigh

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Schlag Sweetleaf
crash and burn.gif
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Jack Pipsam

Probably for the best.

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Jeremy Barnes

Is this the beginning of the death of battle royale everything? It replaced MOBAs…what’s next? Survival games? Puzzle games?

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wratts

Gotta say, I played PAC-Man battle royale at my son’s birthday this weekend and it was shockingly fun

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Armsbend

Nope, just consolidation. A Battle Royale of me’toos. Just like MOBAs, shooters and everything else since gaming began.

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Arktouros

No. It’s just another shitty company refusing to do their jobs basically.

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Matt Comstock

Good. Anyone know what the Star’s End new content is all about? I didn’t find anything with a basic google search.

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Arktouros

Star’s End is the area west of Calpheon. It has Kzarka style spawns and other various content aimed for people like around 269+. It has the new “Black Star” weapons (which google should show up results) which is basically a Caphras infused weapon by default but is much more expensive to enhance as a result. The idea being you can go after the Black Star, or you can go after Kzarka/Offin and infuse it with Caphras instead. Since the enhancement %’s are basically non-existent it’s just there as a chase item to lure suckers/whales into cron enhancing for the “cool” factor.

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Toy Clown

I think this was a good move. So many problems plagued the content and it had a lot of players upset with how many cheaters made it not-fun. I do look forward to seeing what they put in next. Maybe what everyone’s been asking for all along? Group content such as dungeons?

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Arktouros

That’s never going to happen in BDO. That’s just not the kind of game BDO is.

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wratts

I say kudos. They tried something new, which too many studios wouldn’t have done to start with, and when it’s not working rather than double-down on a bad idea or let it hang unsupported they kill it.
This is how experimentation should work, but most companies (especially western) are so afraid of failure that they don’t know how to fail correctly

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Eamil

If they didn’t foresee how devoting staff to keeping the mode updated would draw effort away from updates to the main game, I don’t see how they function as a studio…

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3dom

I hope it’s not because the player number has dropped dramatically after their anti-cheat measures has killed the nude mod last week 8-)