Greetings! GM Haru is here to share an exciting interview with all of you!
It only seems like yesterday that we, together with our testers, traversed the battlefields of Shadow Arena during the 1st Closed Beta Test (CBT), but we’ve already reached a point where we’re almost ready to go ahead with our 2nd CBT. The team and I are very excited to welcome all of you to join our 2nd CBT, which is expected to take place early next year!
In response to your questions concerning our 2nd CBT, we wanted to share a recent interview with “Byulbram” Kwangsam Kim, the Lead Producer of Shadow Arena.
We prepared a special GM Note that offers some insight into the resolve of the team (who are always hard at work), making the 2nd CBT possible! Join me to see more information on this below.
[Q] We understand that Shadow Arena originally launched as a content mode in Black Desert. Could you give us a brief introduction about the game and your reasons for making Shadow Arena a standalone title?
[A] Shadow Arena is an action battle royale where the objective is to become the sole survivor. Shadow Arena had a positive reception when it first launched in Black Desert. However, because it was part of Black Desert, there were limits as to how much we could develop the content of Shadow Arena.
As a result, we decided to split the Shadow Arena content and further develop it into a standalone action game. We are aiming to launch Shadow Arena for the PC platform in early 2020.
[Q] What were the results of the 1st CBT held in Korea?
[A] I can definitely say that it was very successful. In addition to checking the stability of the service, we tested various builds to check whether the users enjoyed playing with what we thought was fun and whether the learning difficulty of the game was balanced.
We were able to confirm that there were no issues even with data processing speeds that were 50 times more than that of Black Desert’s. Users were also able to reach a certain level of gameplay even without a tutorial.
We also received a lot of feedback from the users that they would love to play the game again when it becomes available.
[Q] Users from Russia will be able to join the 2nd CBT. Is there a particular reason to why you’re opening the 2nd CBT for Russian users?
[A] Russian users were very enthusiastic, and a great majority of them participated in Shadow Arena since it was implemented in Black Desert. When Shadow Arena was announced in G-Star 2019, we’ve been receiving a high number of positive feedback and interest from Russian users. There were also a lot of Russian players who participated in the first CBT, which was focused on Korean users.
However, during the 2nd CBT, we will be operating the Korean and Russian servers separately. Even when the game is released, we are planning to keep the servers divided by region.
[Q] Can you tell us about the new characters that will be joining the ranks during the 2nd CBT?
[A] Orwen and Goyen will be joining the arena during the 2nd CBT. Orwen is an expert archer, and Goyen is a powerful melee character--in other words, a berserker. Every character in Shadow Arena has their own unique personality and characteristics, and the thought of these two additional characters changing the flow of battle already gets me pumped!
Although it’s scheduled for a later date, we're also preparing characters with complicated controls and controls similar to other fighting-style games. Various characters will be featured, so please look forward to it!
☞ You can check the details of each character in the GM Note. [Link]
[Q] We want to know what skills each character has. Is there any way for us to check and learn their skills before we join the actual arena?
[A] We are planning to add a “Practice Match” mode during the 2nd CBT. You can practice each character’s skills and learn to use different combos until you feel you’re ready to join the actual arena.
[Q] Can you give us details regarding the ranking system?
[A] We are putting a lot of time and thought on how to calculate the rankings and how to organize each tier. We see the ranking system as something the user’s can pride themselves in--we don’t think that simply getting a higher rank for playing a lot is appropriate. We will set the system so that users can be matched appropriately with other users of the same rank.
[Q] We heard an obstacle that users will have to face during their battles will be implemented into the game. Can you tell us what this is?
[A] We are planning to add a dragon! When a specific condition is met, an enormous dragon will appear and destroy everything in its surroundings. With this addition, users will have to revise their strategy and figure out how to win while keeping their distance from this deadly beast.
We are considering different conditions for how and when the dragon appears. However, for this CBT, the dragon will only appear when a user summons it. It won’t be easy to meet the conditions for summoning the dragon, but it will be very helpful if used properly...
[Q]What do you think about situations where another user intervenes in a 1-vs-1 combat?
[A] Shadow Arena is a multiplayer battle arena. Therefore, team balance is just as important as 1-vs-1 balance. So in the 2nd CBT, we reduced the total number of participants in a match from 50 to 40 and changed the minimum number of participants to 30. I believe this change will allow us to deliver the best gaming experience.
[Q] It was hard to tell how strong the opponent is because the characters’ appearance remained the same even after equipping gear. Do you have any plans to make the appearance reflect the gear equipped?
[A] Users may deliberately avoid fighting if they see that their opponents are equipped with better gear. We don’t have plans to make significant changes as we do not want users judging the outcome of the fight just by appearance, even though there are many variables that come into play (such as strategy and playmaking abilities). However, the appearance of weapons will be reflected, and it’ll be possible to “guesstimate” the opponent’s gear based on the color of their username.
[Q] Do you have any comments for the users who are waiting for the 2nd Closed Beta?
[A] The 2nd CBT is not a complete version of Shadow Arena. Currently we are taking one step at a time: balancing the contents, and working on the core elements to ensure a stable service. In order to reflect suggestions from users and make improvements, we are planning to conduct multiple closed beta tests--as much as we need--in approximately 1 month intervals.
We are working day and night to provide a new and better experience for our users, so please enjoy!