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GM Notes Nov 12, 2021, 15:34 (UTC+8) Developmental Insight into Class Mechanics


Greetings Adventurers, this is the Black Desert Studio.

Last week in Black Desert Global Lab, we shared with you the varied feedback we received, as well as key topics that need to be considered as we continue with the Class Reboot.

Today, we would like to discuss the future direction of the Class Reboot, the key topics we are currently contemplating, and what we’re considering after the Reboot. Here are the key topics we mentioned on the Black Desert Global Lab:

- Grabs and Guards are overtuned

- Difference in PvE ability and summon damage for each class

- The number of defensive effects and debuffs/CCs for each class needs to be balanced

- Three-min buffs and basic passive effects

- Resistances

Some of these key topics were already addressed in the Black Desert Global Lab. By visiting our official Global Lab website, you can find all the latest Class Reboot news leading up to its release on the official live servers. We would also like to note that some of the topics require a long-term approach and require monitoring to consider the best way to address your concerns.

From here on, we will address each topic in detail.


First Topic: Grab and Guard Changes

Grab is a CC effect that ignores the opponent’s defensive effects.

▲ Guard is a difficult skill to overcome.

Grab is a powerful CC effect that ignores the opponent’s defensive effects, while Guard is a powerful defensive skill that is difficult to overcome in PvP. These two topics have always been hotly discussed.


When we discussed them internally, we couldn’t only consider the implications to 1v1 PvP, but had to consider the bigger implications to large-scale PvP as well. Many Adventurers have voiced their concerns regarding grabs and Guard, but we were unable to make changes to these as they constituted a core feature of the classes that had them.

We do, however, agree that these mechanics need to be addressed along with the other changes coming with the Class Reboot. Therefore, we have decided to change them accordingly.

First off, grabs for all classes will be changed so that they no longer have any defensive effects during the grab attempt but will instead be given Super Armor during successful grab animations. Grab cooldowns will also be adjusted to 15 seconds or more, but this may vary for each of the grab skills depending on their strength.


As grab skills almost always allow Adventurers to CC their opponents, we increased the risk of using such powerful effects in order to balance their risk/reward factor. This may raise questions about resistance, but this will be discussed as a separate topic below.

As for Guard, there are two main types: the basic Guard (Guard applied by pressing Q, i.e. the Q Guard) and the S-Block (Guard applied by walking backward). The S-Block was initially designed during the early phases of Black Desert to work in a similar manner to the blocks found in fighting games. As such, classes that had a Q Guard were given an S-Block to enable them to block naturally by walking backward. This was to create more intuitive and meaningful action-orientated combat. However, over the course of numerous updates, S-Block was also given to less effective classes and classes that didn’t have Q Guard. It seems we did not consider the full implications of these changes as they caused S-Block to become even more effective and made it even harder for classes that didn’t have S-Block.


▲ Difference in capabilities between classes that do and don’t have S-Block.


Therefore, we plan to weaken the effect of S-Block to create a disparity between Q Guard and S-Block, so the effect of Q Guard will be more prevalent.

We are also contemplating the merits of adding a system where the Guard Gauge does not recover for a short period of time after the Guard breaks.


This will force Adventurers to rely less on holding their ground with Guard and encourage them to disengage in order to recover their Guard Gauge. This in turn will create a necessity for these classes to manage their Guard Gauge and use Guard more strategically. As always, we would love to hear your feedback on the new direction we are taking with these changes.


Even though there will be a number of adjustments applied, we also understand that classes which center around their Guard shouldn’t lose this characteristic. We will do our best to maintain their uniqueness even though some of the mechanics may change. 


Corsair’s skill that is effective in overcoming Guard.


Second Topic: Adjusting PvE performance and summons damage for each class

We have received a fair amount of feedback on PvE and would like to state our decision briefly before explaining it in more detail. In short, we plan to buff weaker classes rather than nerf stronger ones. Our intentions are to adjust the PvE performance of weaker classes, so they match those currently praised for their PvE performance (Sage, Awakening Nova, and the like).

The skill damage changes that have currently come to Global Lab as part of the reboot have only lightly addressed the issue of class PvE, but before we start adjusting skill damage further, we plan to iron out skill mechanics and their combos first. Additional PvP and PvE damage adjustments will come at a later date.

Furthermore, the system that determines the damage of summons will also be changed. Currently, summons’ damage (from Marg, Tett, Arne, Gorr, Heilang, Echo Spirits, etc.) does not benefit from a character’s gear, and instead has fixed AP of 100 to 120.
This will now be changed so that summons are affected by a character’s gear.


Now, you will be able to experience your summons growing stronger with you.


Third Topic: Adjusting the number of defensive effects and debuffs/CCs for each class and their Succession/Awakening

Out of all the topics here, defensive effects received the most feedback. To recap: "this skill must have a defensive effect to be used in PvP," “there is a gap in Super Armor up time,” “this defense effect is required to continue the combo," and even conversely, "the number of defensive effects just keep rising. This is concerning as we are becoming even more reliant on these effects to fight."

Defensive effects in PvP are supposed to be an important tactical aspect of fights. It’s what creates those openings Adventurers can skillfully exploit to their advantage. It‘s a major point of appeal for many Black Desert Adventurers.

This was a great point of concern for us as we moved forward with the Class Reboot. Many Adventurers have asked us to add more defensive effects to certain skills, however, the reason why we cannot go ahead and add the effects to all of them is because we want to keep the aspects of Black Desert combat that emphasize strategy and skill.

However, Adventurers felt certain classes didn’t have enough defensive effects or debuffs/CCs to appear threatening or these defensive effects were on infrequently used skills which put them at a disadvantage when compared to other classes.

Therefore, we plan to move the defensive effects and debuffs/CCs from skills that aren’t being utilized to more commonly used skills, and add defensive effects and debuffs/CCs to commonly used skills for classes with relatively fewer ones through the Class Reboot. However, we plan to adjust classes with skills that have Invincibility and Super Armor while dealing immense damage simultaneously, such as Corsair.

Still, as these are extremely important aspects of PvP, we may continue to change them on the Black Desert Global Lab and even after they go live on our official servers. Of course, we will continue to monitor our official live servers once the changes go live to ensure there aren’t any major balance issues. Once we have the data, we will continue to balance classes that appear to perform better than others.

These changes will be applied to the rest of the classes in the future as well. Each of the classes will be balanced to make their specialized characteristics more prominent instead of simply increasing their raw strength.


Fourth Topic: Reworking the three-minute buffs and passive effects

▲ Hashashin’s three-minute buff that is somewhat lackluster in PvE.


We are also planning to rework three-minute buffs and passive effects. In the case of three-minute buffs, these changes will specifically target classes whose buffs are lacking when compared to other classes. As for passives, we are checking for effects that are inefficient or only geared toward a specific path.

We are also considering other options. These options include sorting classes into “groups” that would have a selection of passive effects to choose from specific to that group, or just simply focusing on passive skills that enhance each class’s unique characteristics.


Fifth Topic: Resistance

And last but not least, Resistance. Resistance was a system that was added with Black Desert’s combat system and large-scale Conquest War in mind. It serves to stop characters from being bombarded by constant CC and debuffs during combat.


Nevertheless, many Adventurers have expressed their frustration with the system in small-scale fights and 1v1 situations as it caused combos to break due to the opponent’s Resistance (for example, resisting knock-down even while they are stunned). We empathize with this feedback and have decided to make some changes while keeping the main framework of the Resistance system.


Now, the Ignore Resistance effect will be applied to the maximum applicable PvP Resistance rather than the overall Resistance (max 100%). The previous Ignore Resistance system was deemed ineffective, but with this change, it will feel much more impactful.


Since it is possible to obtain up to a maximum of 50% Ignore Resistance with existing gear and buffs, we will also be increasing the maximum Resistance value from 60% to 80%. With 50% Ignore Resistance, this will leave the opponent with a maximum Resistance of 30%.



Furthermore, we plan to increase options to ignore an opponent’s resistance and increase the character’s resistance. This is to ensure we don’t have resistance builds that are best for all but rather optimal build unique to each class. Of course, we will also be constantly analyzing how this update affects both small- and large-scale battles and make the necessary changes to items and buff effects to enable a variety of strategic options.


The ignore resistance value that can be obtained through gear and buffs


In conclusion

Black Desert Studio is aware of the high expectations Adventurers have for the reboot of their beloved classes.

In order to meet those expectations, we are working on this Class Reboot meticulously, carefully, and with a great sense of responsibility. Black Desert Studio will do its best to deliver an enjoyable adventure, so we hope for your continued interest and engagement.


Thank you.