Black Desert had a pretty quiet 2022. It might be a good thing considering how much bad press some of its peers have been getting lately. But even though things have been relatively quiet, Pearl Abyss has been steadily more to the game, and over this weekend, the company threw the Calpheon Ball, the annual fan and media event that reveals the juicy details for upcoming content.
This was not just any Calpheon Ball; this was the first one here in the United States – Long Beach, specifically. Historically, these major events are held in Korea, and the 2020 and 2021 balls were online events. This debut in the States brought with it a different vibe. I’ve watched all the Calpheon Balls in the past, but the fans cheering and reacting to all the changes was intoxicating, especially since I, too, was there in the flesh alongside those fans, thanks to Pearl Abyss kindly hosting the press attendance. I’m conscious of how the audience reactions can influence my hype, but I can say I’m so excited for the upcoming Woosa class. So let’s start with that and talk about the first major reveal: the twin classes Woosa and Maegu.
The new Woosa and Maegu classes
There are really multiple Black Desert Online games: There’s the PC version, the mobile version, and the console version, each very different but still linked. They’re like sisters, even, and that was the inspiration behind releasing BDO’s first twin classes.
There’s the Woosa for those who like to bring a fan (and the literal weather) to a sword fight. And then there’s the Maegu for those who want to bring a fox to the aforementioned sword fight. Both will be releasing this very week, with the Woosa being added on December 14th for the PC/console game and the Maegu arriving for the mobile version on the 13th. But for those non-mobile players who feel like they’re missing out on the Maegu, have no fear; PA is adding her in January.
I’m really excited for the Woosa and extra glad we won’t have to wait long for her actual release. During the ball, press and players had a chance to preview three of her abilities, and judging from the the way the entire room reacted, I think she’s going to be a powerful addition to the roster.
The Woosa uses a fan and the power of the storms, and we go to see three of her moves: Stormfall, Cloudrise, and Wingbeat. With a swing of her fan, she can cast Stormfall, a giant storm around her and bringing the pain down on her enemies. Cloudrise is another AoE ability that will have a different effect if players choose to cancel the animation. And then there’s Wingbeat, which enlarges the fan to a huge size to bring more high-damage AoEs to the table. Players can cast this ability multiple times, and the more they use it, the stronger it becomes.
My take on it? She’s looking super powerful. And this has always been the case for BDO classes. She’s got some awesome effects, and she has a lot of potential. PA gave her excellent movement abilities that allow her to dodge attacks. When the devs showed off big dash ability, which has her moving forward while hopping on clouds and disappearing between each step, the crowd went wild. But that’s not all: She also has a special ability that can absorb the next hit she takes and returns that to her assailant. And if that’s not enough, she also has a skill that will stun an opponent if she herself is stunned.
From my initial observations, players will get a lot of value with her if they manage to take strong positions and can predict their opponent’s next move. So she most definitely has a skill ceiling, but it’s not the skill ceiling I’m curious about. I’m wondering how approachable she’ll be in general.
Pearl Abyss didn’t share as many details for the Maegu, just lore bits. But she will be releasing in BDO Mobile this week, so we can try her out soon too, or in January if you want to wait for PC. Either way, BDO is coming out swinging in 2023 with two classes right from the start.
The Land of the Morning Light
And if that’s not enough, 2023 will be the year we finally go beyond Port Ratt with the release of the Land of the Morning Light! And I’m hyped for this new region. This is the region that the Lahn, Maehwa, Musa, Tamer, Striker, and Mystic all come from, so people have been dying to see what’s there for years.
But what I’m extra excited about is the theme. This new region pulls from Korean folk tales! Most MMOs I’ve played usually combine the various regions in Asia into their own unique region. But this is the first time where we’re getting a region filled to the brim with Korean Folk tales. I’m so familiar with Chinese, Japanese, and Philippine folklore, but not Korean. BDO is going to be a great platform to exhibit these various legends and myths.
One thing that PA stressed during its presentation is that the dev team is eager to make sure localization of this content is as accurate as possible. And presumably it has plenty of time; this new region got only a general 2023 release date, so we’ll be expecting a proper launch window in the near future.
With Calpheon Ball coming to the US and the development team meeting its North American fans, Pearl Abyss has set a new precedent for its strategy moving into 2023; the studio says it wants to be more involved with becoming the “face” of Black Desert Online. In an earlier edition of Desert Oasis, I argued that the team should take steps to become known to the larger community, and I think this event was a big step toward that.
Stay tuned for more from the ball later this week – we’re working up a zesty interview with Jaehee Kim, whom I finally met with face to face!