Black Desert Online features a seamless and immersive world, with incredible scenery and vast, sweeping landscapes. It’s also designed to maximize players’ interaction with the world surrounding them. BDO carries many sandbox elements, to weave a lushly detailed environment which invites imaginative gameplay.
The world of Black Desert Online is seamless. One could walk all the way from the eastern to the western edges of the map and not encounter a single loading screen. Adventurers are encouraged to climb the highest peaks and leap across the rooftops in the cities. (In fact, there’s even a Parkour system – we’ll go into that later.)
Black Desert has a beautiful day to night cycle. Rather than other games, in which the sun seems to operate on a simple on/off switch, BDO’s environments transition slowly from high noon to deep night over a period of four hours. The game world changes drastically with the cycles of night and day. NPCs will return to their homes to rest with their families after sunset. Monsters become more frightening as the moon rises. Mysterious things can be seen at nighttime, which slip back into hiding as the eastern sky lightens.
This is a work-in-progress map of the world of BDO. Clearly, it is a draft map created to allow the developers to more clearly envision the world they are designing. It will look much different when the game is ready to release. New players will find themselves on the northwestern reaches of the map. Your journey will begin in Balenos. The first three regions (Balenos, Serendia, and Calpheon) are graced with lush woodlands and mountains, due to their close proximity to the sea. As one moves southward, the weather grows colder. The northern provinces enjoy a warmer climate. To the east stretches a vast expanse of desert.
The first town you’ll explore in Black Desert Online is called Balenos Village. It has the cozy atmosphere of a tiny fishing village.
Grand estates line the broad streets of Serendia. This bustling city is three times the size of tiny Balenos. This growing city is teeming with opportunity.
It’s only too easy to become lost in the massive city of Calpheon. Calpheon is the province’s mighty capitol.
Keep your eyes open while adventuring – the terrain is dotted with mysterious cave entrances. Most of them are hidden, barely visible behind dense vines, rock formations, and tree branches. The desert caves are particularly difficult to find.
What could be inside the caves? Many caves are simply recesses in the rock, holding nothing but dirt and wayward leaves. A special few are Ancient Caves, which may shelter fabulous treasures – or incredible boss monsters.
I made mention of the Parkour system at the beginning of this article. This system is meant to encourage players to explore the cities and towns more thoroughly, and to view the streets from different angles. As you approach a wall, ledge, or rooftop, your character can climb upon them. More parkour actions are in the works!