Apr 12, 2014

Black Desert Online - A Korean MMO That Has The West's Attention

I've had a chance to play a wide range of MMO's over the years, never fully delving into them but limiting myself to 2-3 week playtests to get a feel for what each game had to offer. And during this time I really got a chance to develop an appreciation for Korean MMO's especially, which time and time again seemed to be a few steps ahead of their western developed counterparts in regards to gameplay ideas and innovations.

One of my most memorable experiences was playing Granado Espada a few years back, which allowed a player to control three characters simultaneously in a baroque styled setting (The awesome character concepts by Limha Lekan drew me in). My only frustration was that there was a generalized stigma against any Korean MMO for being 'too grindy,' a reputation that a few games managed to cast on that entire scene as a whole.

In the last few years it seems like developers have taken note of this reputation and have been trying to address it with newer games, including NC Soft's upcoming Blade and Soul and Black Desert Online. The latter recently caught the interest of the western gaming community for it's efforts to truly evolve online combat with a more dynamic action oriented approach rather than the rather outdated 'roll' based systems featured in games like World of Warcraft.

Black Desert is just one of many next gen MMO's being developed overseas, and hopefully this game will be able to make a transition to Western shores once it's released. I've seen so many games with truly amazing potential absolutely fall flat due to bad marketing, but hopefully this will be one of the exceptions. If you're in the mood to get a feel of how this game might play while we wait for Black Desert to released, I'd recommend giving the free to play Vindictus action MMO a shot (The only Korean MMO developed on Valve's source engine).

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