Cosmetic surgery on steroids
While many are looking to the likes of EverQuest Next, Wildstar or recent releases such as The Elder Scrolls Online for their next MMO fix, none of the above offer anything close to the level of character design and customisation seen in Korean free-to-play MMO Black Desert.
The video sample above looks fairly standard when it begins, showing several stills of what we assumed were pre-made characters, but as it progresses, it’s clear that there’s very little players can’t adjust to suit their tastes. Hair styles can be sculpted to adjust length, wave, and colour, individual facial regions can be adjusted through a mesh which follows the features and contours. Sure, there are a bunch of sliders too, but they appear to be limited to fine-tuning, or scrolling through palette options. For the most part, if you want to tweak any aspect of your characters look, it can be selected with the mouse cursor and adjusted directly.
Tiny details such as iris pattern, size and position, pupil size and how glossy the eyes appear? All adjustable. It begins to look a little freaky when they start tweaking limb length, I can imagine that particular option being abused to create a new generation of spider people.
Black Desert has been in development since 2010 at Pearl Abyss and entered closed beta testing in October 2013. The game is currently destined to launch on PC in Korea, Russia and Japan. An English version of the game is in the pipeline, but hasn’t been picked up by a publisher as yet.
The team have also released several videos of the game itself, the most recent, taken from the G*Star Conference, is below.