The official expansion news post can be found here:
Node wars itself was pretty huge and lots of guilds were participating in it on a daily basis, an average of 3-5 guilds battled over multiple areas of the world map each day it was running.(So about 15-30 guilds warring every day in multiple regions) The thing I liked most is that it's not some 1v1 Guild thing it's MULTIPLE guilds just fighting for control during war times. It's a bit of hide and seek as well as strategic positioning with annexes(extra parts that are added/attached around your fort to provide defense, strategy, holes, making it hard to kill your fort really). Those who don't know, there's a bit of a rock paper scissor design about this. Where certain war elements do extra damage or reduced damage versus particular objects.
Source of image found from Dulfy's guides which was sourced from Black Desert Daum.
Stick figure with sword is obviously players, the way the system works is particular items in War do extra damage and reduced damage by a percentage to the other particular element. So having yourself overly geared wont' exactly win you the war or allow you to break everything in lightning speed manner, utilizing the proper things will help a LOT. For instance 20 people vs. 40 people, your odds are obviously not as good as the 40 person group but your chances can be improved exceedingly high based on how you set up your base on where it is positioned, how you're blocking players from zerging the fort and how you're setting up your defenses and respawn points. Although elephants weren't available yet it will be in Valencia so get your Guild Stables raising that gigantic animal to overthrow barricades and players.
Even in practice war I was just learning the systems with the guild I'm in we set up just a fort with zero defenses for giggles and to understand how it works, we had 5 people vs a group of 36 people. It took them a good solid 20-30 minutes to wipe our fort off the floor. It didn't just disappear in minutes. War itself lasts 2 hours and during that time ALL monsters on the world map are removed when it is in play in the channel it is occurring in. War on particular nodes takes place on its regional channel, Example: Taking over... Olvia Coast would mean you setup your fort on Balenos channel 1 since it exists in Balenos region. Mediah nodes would mean you have to setup your fort on the Mediah Channel 1.
After today, new quests, new entire environmental world is being expanded into Black Desert Online; Valencia.
Valencia brings a plethora of new dangers and challenges to Black Desert players.
The desert itself is a harsh environment with sandstorms, heatstrokes, night time dehydration environmental effects to your character. These aren't just simple debuffs you can shrug over, you will ACTUALLY die if not tended to over a FAST period of time for not being prepared in items that ward off the aforementioned effects of the desert. Your world map will also be disabled when you're traversing the desert unless you create yourself a temporary compass.
Source: Black Desert Online official.
Newer players may not want to venture straight into Valencia if they haven't even made it through Mediah content comfortably yet, even after the mob HP nerfs and the EXP buffs the previous patch granted to everyone universally.
Enhancing is another feature being introduced where equipment reaches new heights of power from +15 raised to +20 now. Another massive goldsink/powergrowth system that is enhanced differently opposed to +15 where +15 takes only 1 blackstone of armor/weapon per attempt(which is really forgiving, I don't understand why people say getting +15 is extremely hard when I've made an entire set of +15 in a day, getting your accessories up is difficult and I find that to be a fine gear chase as it depicts most of your endgame efforts to aim for those things later on, finding boss gear also takes forever) +16-20 however uses a different material known as Black Crystal Shards, Sharp types are for weapons, and Hard types are for armor.
The materials aren't granted through grinding monster kills, it's found through life activity of gathering, something more participated upon by the casual players of Black Desert. So it gives an okay balance imo to both types of players, hardcores will obviously find more blackstones, and casuals would probably find more black crystal shards, both are needed for your +16-20 attempts.
The most positive boon about Black Desert's enhancing systems that I find to be very welcome is the multiple ways players can get there. You can risk yourself through the RNG gamble, or Force an enhancement to remove the RNG element 100% success for the price of a massive durability drop which in turn requires you to pay a hefty amount of silver to bring it back to maximum durability. Not real money, just earned ingame silver. Risk vs. reward vs. "difficulty" removal for a price. Some may argue that the RNG is ridiculous but I use my failstacks for other things than blowing a 40 stack just to +15 a weapon/armor, when accessories are a lot harder to enhance and with a 40 stack a TRI-tier enhancement for an accessory is much much better odds than wasting it on a +15 enhance. Many players who enhance a lot would agree the same. If you've done less than 300 failed enhancements(Grants you at least the title of Shaking Head) I don't think you have a solid sample size to have gripes about the game's RNG, and not only that, RNG is a very permeated mechanic in almost every MMORPG out there. So if that's new to you I don't know where you've been.
Guild housing will also be introduced in Valencia, and that will go up for bids, it'll be taken from your guild fund which hopefully you've been raising overtime as you can't just deposit a mass amount of silver into a guild, it must be generated through guild quests.(although deposit does work if your guild goes bankrupt but it only goes up to a low threshold of about 5 mil or something which is comparatively next to nothing).
A couple of new mounts are coming along, Camels(the mount that survives well in the Desert) and Elephants(siegewars/nodewars/conquestwars) as depicted in the video above.
Whale Hunting is a new life activity as it'll introduce harpoons into a more useful matter for fishers, and possibly muskets later on to shoot actual wildlife for materials and rarities to craft new accessories that are highly useful and finally enabling something that progresses the Hunting life activity. Whale hunting is to help with gaining some crazy good accessories such as the Whale Molar Earrings.(5 AP +100 HP, Huge upgrade in survivability and offense capability... though some other stats should be considered rather than just raw AP gain...)
Castle Siege and Node Wars will be temporarily disabled after this patch due to bugs needing to be addressed and problems regarding these features as the previous patch was a practice 2weeks.
Two short things to know about Conquest War and Node Wars. For the smaller guilds you'll probably be participating in Node Wars, where you take control of a singular node on the world map. Castle Siege however is probably something all the larger guilds will be fighting over, where they take control of an ENTIRE region(Balenos, Serendia, Valencia, Mediah, Calpheon etc.). The simplistic rules of control is that: if you control a region your guild cannot participate in Node Wars, and if you own nodes with your guild you cannot participate in Conquest Wars. I find that to be a fair balance as most of the semi large guilds would be chasing Level 3 nodes in Node Wars, and small guilds would be going after level 1 and 2 nodes and t he largest top guilds would be going after the region control. More on this later. Setting up for war itself takes place the previous day and involves everyone in your guild who wants to participate, on top of workers you can send in to help build things, siege workshops you craft players can go to the area and setup barricades/traps/guard towers/siege cannons. War generally takes place in a localized area on the world map. Wherever your fort is deployed is the area you'll be warring in.
This is quite a big update. The game is already pretty brutal in dangers with others and even with PK exp loss removal there's still a lot of people fighting over grind spots that I run into on the daily.
This world expansion gives more players options to find new things and areas to fight over/band together upon. The outlaw town is obviously coming after Valencia Part 1, and awakening weapons should soon be arriving along with the Kunoichi and Ninja class. There are suggested themes of Naval Warfare that the game seems to allude to for the future of Black Desert past the Valencia expansions. The game seems to be keeping up to speed with its Korean version slightly behind in content and in a few semi-core features such as playable classes and weapon styles but the updates and content seems to be coming at a consistent rate.