Crimson Oasis: Speculation on Crimson Desert, Pearl Abyss’ new MMORPG

Black Desert 2: So black it's crimson

    
32

Lasst week, we reported on what looks like Pearl Abyss’ power move to overtake the MMO market. With three MMOs and a Shadow Arena re-release, the Korean megacorp is playing wide with these new titles. Whereas Plan 8 will attempt to allure shooter fans by including the co-creator of Counter-Strike, Minh “Gooseman” Le in its development, and the monster-collecting DokeV seeking to capture Pokemon and Yokai Watch fans, we have Crimson Desert to attract… Black Desert players. I think?

I have no idea why PA decided to name it Crimson Desert. But it’s just so Pearl Abyss to unironically name its upcoming “open-world MMORPG set in an epic-fantasy world” Crimson Desert and act like Black Desert never existed. I’m pretty sure the studio is just avoiding the word “sequel” until the big announcement on November 13, but when I read the news, I stopped dead, stared out the window, and asked myself, “What the heck are they doing?”

Hilariously, there’s already a BDO private server with that exact same name. I’m not endorsing the server, but it’s literally the top result when I googled “Crimson Desert.”

There’s not much yet on any of these titles; we’ll learn more about them from the fan event later this week. But just the name alone courts so much speculation, concern, and hope for me. So before that official announcement, I want to record my initial feelings on the announcement and speculate on the ramifications this title might have to our beloved game.

I hope this game will just be Black Desert 2: So Black It’s Crimson. I want it with much more precise controls. I want that nice, clean UI PA’s been using on Black Desert. I hope they make a game that’ll not only attract hardcore PvPers and grinders but also cultivate a new generation of those gamers. I hope they have an out-of-the-box PvP that’s got a low bar for entry but a high-skill ceiling and a system to accommodate players that might not want to get ganked in their favorite grind spots.

There’s so much promise this new title can bring in, but we have to remember this is still Pearl Abyss. The biggest gripe the Black Desert community has with PA is how tone-deaf the company can be. Players oftentimes claim PA doesn’t play its own game and doesn’t listen to its players. There have been many questionable changes throughout the game’s history, like the addition-and-removal of the renown system last year. If this game really is what I think it is, I hope PA will listen to its players. I’ll give the studio the benefit of the doubt, though. I’ve really enjoyed the changes they’ve been making recently and I’m sure the dev team’s learned a lot from developing Black Desert. 

I’ll eat my cash-shop hat if this doesn’t take place in the Black Desert universe. I think this is going to be a prequel. The Valencian Black Desert got its name because of the sand: It’s made from black stones, one the central items in the game. But many Valencians give it a different name: the Red Desert, which got its name from the countless battles and deaths that took place on its sands throughout its tumultuous history. Plus, PA contextualized this new title within a time frame of warring tribes, not factions. I see tribes as something that comes before a faction, and this would fit into the lore of Black Desert.

Considering how there’s been significant revisions to the story this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if PA decides to rebrand the desert’s alternate name into Crimson Desert. A prequel would be a great way to really build on what’s already there, and the team can apply narrative lessons learned from developing Black Desert’s lore. Of course, there’s the possibility Crimson Desert will go the route of your Final Fantasies and Tales of games where the game is not related at all but still includes series hallmarks – the Black Spirit in this case, which isn’t a bad idea for an MMO either.

Regardless of its place in lore, or even whether it’s part of the franchise, the decision to create something that may possibly overshadow Black Desert is odd. The timing just seems so strange since BDO still feels new. Black Desert released in Korea in 2015, NA and Europe in 2016, and South East Asia the beginning of 2018. The console versions just released this year. By MMO standards, that’s pretty young for a game. Why would they release it now when it seems like the best time to play Black Desert?

I can think of one really good reason: its nine-year-old engine.

It’s getting long in the tooth. Even with the remaster, Black Desert still has clipping issues and pop-ins. There’s always been some awkward physics-related bugs too, like boats getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and players getting caught on the occasional rock. PA has talked about transferring the game to the new engine, and it’s possible this is what Crimson Desert is. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a new engine, but it makes sense to just build a new game around the engine, rather then import the game over.

It’s also totally possible the studio is planning on transitioning into making Black Desert Mobile its primary money maker. Not only is it a good game, but it’s making even more money than the PC version is now. With Black Desert making steady money through its mobile iteration, and the PC version not making as much, there’s an opportunity to fill that gap with a new, sexy MMO with a brand-new engine.

The biggest concern for me is the risk. So many things can go wrong with replacing a game like Black Desert. There’s the obvious issue of splitting the fanbase and the development team. Time spent working on Crimson Desert will be time not spent adding content to Black Desert. It’s totally possible that PA will accidentally kill Black Desert PC. Apologies for the hyperbolic language, but suddenly jumping into a whole new game, especially while Black Desert is still healthy, is super risky. But we can’t ignore that Black Desert might be growing stale too. Even with the Great Expedition expansion, there haven’t been many major content expansions for the game. It’s mainly been polishing what’s already there and expanding to new platforms at a wild rate. Polish and reach doesn’t replace new content.

But that same risk fills me with hope for the future. One of the genre’s biggest criticisms is how averse to risk it’s become. It’s depended on tried-and-true practices and its stagnated. Pearl Abyss, with its oodles of money, is willing to create a new MMO for the new decade. It seems to be playing its cards very aggressively and I love it. It’s what the genre needs, and this aggression can be the catalyst that motivates other companies to push toward bigger and better MMOs. But hey, it could also mess up big too. Fingers crossed this goes well.

The Great Valencian Black Desert is a dangerous place, but thankfully there’s always a chance for respite. Join Massively OP’s Carlo Lacsina every other week for just that in Desert Oasis, our Black Desert column! And don’t worry; he promises he won’t PK you. Got questions or comments? Please don’t hesitate to send a message!

32
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
kajidourden
Reader
kajidourden

I’m holding out hope for actual PvE content in this one. Not just mind-numbingly bad AI that you AoE to death while they stupidly kite themselves.

Reader
Dragon GamerEX

Hopefully this game will be free and available on console early and not years later

Reader
Nosy Gamer

On Pearl Abyss’ 3rd quarter investor call held on Friday, CFO Seok Woo Cho stated the company expected Crimson Desert to become the next flagship MMORPG for Pearl Abyss.

Mmmm. Maybe I better leave a link with a transcript of the call.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/edited-transcript-263750-kq-earnings-081534265.html

Reader
Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

I’ll play it for a few of the reasons you listed and a few of my own as well. If it runs better than BDO. Flagged PvP. If unflagged, I’m uninterested.

I’ve only ever been killed in a spot that I was already at. “Might makes right” isn’t an interesting design choice. It’s game devs pandering to a bully mindset. Do something interesting and creative and I’m in.

I’d love a PvE only server for sure. Some of us live in a mindset of if that kid is playing with that ball (grindspot) he can go on playing with it because he had it first. Some of us learned that when we were 3 years old.

Reader
Seth Arnold

Is Street Fighter a game with a bully mentality too? Can the game not simply be a game designed around player conflict and progression? Really, it’s players like you who ruin the spirit of the game and competition. Good news though, they made a game for you and it’s called Black Desert Mobile and that’s not a joke, literally almost all the complaints about BDO have been addressed in that version.

Reader
kyrainetheranger

There’s a place for PVP and Competition, there are even some games that do it well. However, some of us don’t play MMOs to complete or conflict with other players (in the olden days MMOs were about building communities not murdering them). I love Black Deserts systems, crafting, and yes, even the weird story. What I don’t like : Trying to do that story while getting killed a dozen times by other players, or having my game play ruined by a player who decides to gank me every time I try to progress something. This is not “interesting” game play, and for a lot of people I know, it was the turn off for BDO, everyone loves the game, right up until you have to do something to try to progress past 50. Then it’s either gank fest, or try to figure out “what can I do so I don’t have to deal with the gankers today”. I ended up leaving the game when I hit 58, due to just the fact I felt blocked on everything (I am not a pvp player, and not good at pvp, and would prefer to just play the game, do the quests, and explore the beautiful world (without getting murdered anytime I go near a populated area) ). There’s nothing wrong in hoping the next iteration of BDO (CDO?) has a PVE server, or PVP flagging….if you want open world PVP play BDO, if you want a PVE experience, play CDO….sounds great to me.

Reader
Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Very well put.

Reader
Seth Arnold

Black Desert Online was designed as a place for PvP and competition. So if you don’t play MMOs to compete or conflict with other players, why play an MMO that encourages it, that makes absolutely no sense.

Don’t like getting killed a dozen times by other players while doing the storyline, play a game that doesn’t allow it.

No one is ruining your game by ganking you, you’re ruining the game by complaining about it.

If you don’t find it interesting, why play it. If the biggest features are a turn-off, who in their right mind plays that game then? LOL!

I’d point out to you that most players enjoy those things you don’t like about the game and it’s the reason they bought it.

It’s funny how you act like getting killed in the open world as a frequent thing when it’s not, it’s heavily penalized for doing so and not a common occurence.

I’m glad to hear you left the game because it needs fewer players like yourself who ruin the game for the players who want to play it like it was intended and that by no means makes players who enjoy that content bullies because you don’t like it.

Like I said earlier, while I disagree entirely with everything you’ve said, Pearl Abyss listened to players like you and made a game exactly the way you wanted it with Black Desert Mobile. I am serious when I say that everything you claimed to enjoy in Black Desert Online and wanted to concentrate on, was made better in Black Desert Mobile.

Next time you choose a game to play, I suggest you make sure it’s biggest features and core content aren’t something you disagree with.

Reader
kyrainetheranger

So your saying, that because I don’t like PVP, I can’t play a game that has beautiful graphics, indepth crafting, action combat and quests? PVP may be a main feature of BDO, but there are a lot of other PVE features (I love horse training, but I can’t do it on a 50+ because well people kill me yay? there are no other MMOs that have this feature).
You keep saying “go to BDO moble then” I can’t play bdo moble on my gaming PC. You keep saying that no one really kills you in the open world…I’m sorry but yes they do…BDO requires grind to level your character, if you are not already twinked out, or that great of a player, you don’t get to progress your character. That is NOT FUN to the majority of players. Neither is being stuck at level 50, even though a lot of the character advancement options are beyond level 50. So the argument of “get gud” or “don’t play” is dumb, i’m sorry, especially when you are trying to build an MMO.

As for you asking why I would play a game that has PVP as a main feature…name an MMO that has action combat, in depth crafting, top of the line graphics, and no open world PVP. I’ll be here waiting. There isn’t one.

GW2 is about as close as you’ll come, and their combat is neither very action, and the graphics are so -so, and the crafting is a snooze.

The problem is game developers got it in their heads that they have to do open world PVP to make a good MMO, and so all of you newer MMOs have it. A lot of us who don’t like this feature, don’t have a lot of choices.

I’m glad you like the PVP aspects of BDO. I don’t and I am hoping for something different in Crimson Desert.

Reader
Seth Arnold

I’m saying you chose to play the game knowing it’s core features are ones you don’t like so you have no room to complain when you made the choice to play it, no one forced you.

You can play Black Desert Mobile on your gaming PC using an Android emulator, I suggest LDPlayer, many if not most players are enjoying the game this way, you should look into it.

Player killing in Black Desert Online is not remotely as frequent as you try to make it sound. No one is stuck at level 50, progress can not be prevented but only slowed and not even significantly. Fighting over progression is in fact fun to many people, contrary to the reason you play the game many more people enjoy the entire experience.

The game developers made an MMO with open world PvP because that’s what they wanted to do and the audience they sought. Not all games are a like, nor are they made with everyone in mind.

Reader
Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

It’s consensual fighting. In Street Fighter, both players are consenting to fight. BDO is NOT that and your comparison doesn’t work.

Reader
Seth Arnold

I could point out that if I’m able to kill you in Black Desert Online than you’ve read the warning that is provided when turning level 50 about open-world combat and the dangers, making all PvP consensual.

Not only that but the developers purposefully created situations that would incite player vs player conflict, by limiting the number of resources and rewards each gives, and by making the main goal of the game to progress to the highest limits.

So my comparison does in fact work because players in both games should know what they are getting into when they start playing the game, if not how did they ever come to the conclusion they wanted to play it in the first place?

Stay ignorant my friend.

kajidourden
Reader
kajidourden

Ah yes, because clearly the person who bought a fighting game wanted to instead chat for an hour about how their day was, not actually play the game.

Your comparison is downright stupid.

Reader
Seth Arnold

So you’re saying people who buy Black Desert Online are only there to chat for an hour about their day? Isn’t that what chatrooms are made for and not videogames? My comparison isn’t stupid, you are. This is the most idiotic comment I’ve ever seen, lol!

kajidourden
Reader
kajidourden

And yet my comment went over your head. Sure thing buddy.

Reader
Seth Arnold

Not so much as went over my head as it just didn’t make sense. Maybe you replied to the wrong person, because the context would make more sense if you hadn’t replied to me as I never implied anything of the sort you indicated.

Reader
Arktouros

I think Pearl Abyss has kinda accepted that there’s only so much they can really do with Black Desert as a game.

They tried adding Shadow Arena to it, but that didn’t really increase sales or numbers because there’s no monetization scheme for it. On top of that there was just outrageous hacking going on that there’s basically zero tools in Black Desert for GMs to really do anything about. Right now there’s basically armies of hackers running around farming zones and the GMs and everything do absolutely nothing about it because they can’t. Sprinkle in some free access to the game and Shadow Arena went down extremely bad within the game.

They also had plans to create a sort of faction warfare system with Calpheon vs Valencia over Mediah but we haven’t heard anything about that. Instead now we’re hearing about “Crimson Desert Online” which it’s “three way faction open world PvP system” and it’s pretty eerily similar to that planned content they wanted to do.

In any regards: Fuck that. Pearl Abyss is one of the worst imaginable gaming developers out there. They created this amazing product, then absolutely developed some of the most predatory monetization schemes while entirely ignoring the western audience. This wouldn’t be so bad, but they regularly tell us just outright lies like they are non predatory and they do want our feedback despite all the evidence to the contrary. I think this might be a cultural difference or something but they’re actually awful.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Stormwaltz

I can’t believe you got through this entire article without saying “Crimson is the new Black.”

Reader
Bash

my hopes are that its not a pvp gankbox since i for one would love to explore the black/crimson desert universe and lore from a pve/story angle without the risk of getting ganked or even forced to pvp

micedicetwice
Reader
micedicetwice

I wish somebody made really good PvE/no forced PvP sandbox already! Why the hell it always has to be gankfest?! Exploring, building, trading is fun by itself!

Reader
Seth Arnold

Play Black Desert Mobile seriously. It’s PvE friendly and the story and voice acting are leagues better than BDO is.

Reader
ChoJun

Bdo mobile is pretty much ultimate bdo version, it’s miles better than pc/console and it’s so unnerving, can play mobile games on pc with emulators,so no problem.

On topic i hope they have more endgame than not having any like BDO – brainless grind for new gear for new zone. The combat is so wasted in BDO it’s crazy.

Reader
Robert Mann

My primary wishlist for anything as a change would be having some lifeskill stuff that is more active across the board. Essentially I would like to see options going in toward both the management side of things, and a more personal role. It felt quite like there was a big limiter on personal involvement at an active level for me, and I found the hyped lifeskill system to be rather boring as anything but a management sim. *I don’t mind management sim stuff, but I’d like to get involved for more than 20-30 minutes at a time!*

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

I’m just wondering why they’re so focused on “deserts” and not other types of land.

Reader
Bruno Brito

It’s more like focusing on the future of the game 2 years in.

Reader
Utakata

…or what’s wrong with a calling it “Pink Desert”. I know that would catch my attention. >.>

Reader
Seth Arnold

It’s even stranger that almost nothing of importance takes place in the desert and it’s actually one of the smaller regions to explore when compared to the rest of the world map.

Reader
ChoJun

unless 5 years later after new zones, we come back to Valencia and learn that there’s underground world underneath the desert where big bad guy lives or sth.

Reader
NecrococoPlays

I hope they leave BDO as it’s PvP title, and make Crimson Desert more PvE with a stronger narrative and endgame solo and group content. BDO has great systems, and it already covers the PvP segment – making another PvP MMO with the same naming convention is redundant.

I’m just grateful that SK’s dedication to challenging themselves and innovating is being applied to the MMO genre, and gaming as a whole.