ALBION ONLINE KICKS OFF FINAL BETA, PLUS HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMA

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Albion Online’s final beta phase kicks off today, with a reported $7 million under its belt in crowdfunds. Over the weekend, the team ran an AMA on Reddit to answer player questions. The highlights:

Albion will indeed launch B2P as a single-server, global game. This last leg of beta will be closed and not open; devs say that an open beta would be unfair to backers, that they don’t need free testers (“we have more than enough players”), and that they “believe [B2P] does not work together well with an open beta.” (Players contested this and pointed out open betas in MMOs are used to determine whether the game is worth purchasing.)
Planned improvements down the line include “faction warfare, expeditions, fishing, transportation contracts, improved UI, arena, better PvE content.” The devs wrote, “With our existing feature backlog, we could happily continue improving the game for at least 12 months before we’d run out of ideas.”
Non-instanced housing is in the game, and the devs say they are hoping for more customization options in the future. Player shops are not planned because “the local marketplaces fully fill that role.”

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The team working on the game is now around 40 people.
Multiple questions about P2W went unaddressed, but as one Redditor pointed out, SI has already written about P2W at length.
Why mobile? Sandbox wanted to combine its focus on gameplay over graphics with the inexpensive addition of new players through cross-platform play. The new PC UI is meant to patch mobile’s deficiencies on PC.
“Our main inspiration for Albion Online was our frustration with the MMORPG genre and our love for open world, sandbox games with relevant PvP and a fully player driven economy,” say the devs.
Finally, here’s the run-down on PvP and ganking:
“It depends on how “criminal” you are. If you keep your crime somewhat in check, you can still access the red cities on the royal island, and do your crafting and trading there. Once you get nefarious or dreaded, you will need to be based out of the lawless continents. These also have player cities, which you are free to use. Of course, they are far more dangerous. Our goal is two support both playstyles:

the “measured” criminal, who picks his victims carefully to avoid getting thrown out of the red zone cities
the “dreaded” criminal, who tries to cause as much havoc as possible. They will have a super hard time in the royal continents as a result of that – but it’s possible. Expect to be hunted down by anti player killers a lot, though.”

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ALBION ONLINE DISPLAYS PVP KILLBOARD FOR ALL TO SEE

One should never forget that the struggle between players is at the core of Albion Online. To keep that foremost in thoughts, the studio has released its new website Killboard feature to publicly declare the best of the best in PvP.

The Killboard displays top kills ranging back two months, the results of the fiercest open world battles, guild vs. guild rankings, leaderboards showing off the elite combatants across the entire community, and a search function that allows you to seek out specific players and guilds.

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Another function that Albion Online’s Killboard sports is the ability to compare between player groups: “Here you can compare up to five guilds with each other, comparing basic info, overall PvP stats and the top five players per guild based on their PvP Fame.”

So is anyone from the Massively OP community already on the Killboard? Screenshot or it didn’t happen!

Source: Albion Online, Killboard

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ALBION ONLINE INTRODUCES THE HELL ARTIFACTS

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A new batch of artifacts is arriving in Albion Online, and it’s hellish. These are literally called the Hell Artifacts, you see, and are forged with the aids of Hell Fragments obtained from Hellgates or melding Artifact fragments (which may be rather hellish itself). As we all know, wielding the horrifying powers of demons will have no long-term negative consequences and is in fact a superb idea, especially when said Hell Artifacts have the array of powers being shown off.

Each Hell Artifact weapon has its own unique ability, from the sword’s charge-and-snare technique to the shrinking power of the mace. Meanwhile, the offhands also boost various abilities, and the armor sets boast new powers to shut down your enemies whilst buffing yourself. You can wield all sorts of demonic powers with the new artifacts, and all it takes is… well, you know, lots of Hell. That’s probably fine.

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Forward with multi-account Albion Onlinerestrictions

This is where properly designed game mechanics solve these issues without even broaching that grey territory. For example naked scouting you put a black screen on death (a great decision) which prevents sitting there dead and seeing what’s going on in red territories. In addition, reward splitting (such as fame) already reduces the amount of fame gained and splits it up between party members which means even if they are multi-accounting they’re doing it slower than those who aren’t. In extreme cases where a person might be controlling 5-10 clients at the same time a properly designed adjustment of fame/silver rewards for those who bring too many players to content (IE: bringing 5-7 to solo content, or 10-20 to 5 man content) would also reduce that as well.

It’s important to realize that there are some issues that simply aren’t fixable without causing greater collateral damage in an effort to try to fix it. This simply is one of them.

I still would like to know as well, should you decide to go forward with multi-account restrictions, will your team be offering refunds to those who purchased multiple accounts now that you are changing the rules regarding them.

This is still pretty slippery territory when you get down to it because what defines a “direct play advantage” can be different to everyone. For example take the husband/wife combo. One of our couples the guy plays a healer and the wife plays cursed staff. If they are dungeoning buy Albion Online Gold together, is that going to be a “direct play advantage” scenario since they are doing content together? If they’re gathering together is that a direct play advantage? What if the husband uses the account to transfer or hold goods for his other account? There will always be an excuse, always be an explanation, and always create a grey territory where it’s impossible to tell.

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More accounts means more Albion Online characters

Multiboxing is always a difficult topic and I’ll come right out and say that I have bought two accounts because there was no rule against multiboxing. @Korn if you outlaw multiboxing are you willing to give me a refund on my second account? Are you willing to refund everyone who bought a second account with this intent in mind? With “3” you are saying I’m unable to do what I intended to do, control two accounts at once for my benefit. Whether that benefit is access to more character slots, access to more LP for specialization or access for storage mules and personal islands what do you care how many characters I control at once?

Of all the things you want to be like EVE, this is probably the biggest one you should be striving to be like EVE on. There’s over 50% of the vote in favor of multi-accounting. The other 46% voted “No” clearly ignorant of how realistically unstoppable it is because they live in an ideal world where “No” is realistically an option even though in reality it isn’t. Furthermore, from a simple economic standpoint multiboxing is in fact probably one of the only reasons a niche game like EVE still goes as strong as it does. More accounts means more characters which means more Premium needed to keep them all going which fundamentally means more Gold sales/Gold bought with Silver.

More over by fixing the fame system you will go a lot further discouraging the use of multiple accounts/characters to progress throughout the destiny board. In addition to this, as most of the valuable resources come out of zones like Red territories and Black territories, a person multiboxing gathering is a colossal risk as it is not easy to control and will likely just mean twice the loot for those who Albion Online Silver PvP and clear the areas. There are also systems in game that prevent multi-box PvP such as the anti-focus fire mechanic that would make multi-boxing entirely ineffective for PvP focus fire. Beyond this, there is no advantage to multiboxing as silver/fame is split and ultimately it’s not appealing to multibox split rewards. This means, once again, players will take care of the problems as they crop up in game.

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The End Of The World About Albion Online

Now that players have seen how worthless these are and even the most DEVOTE labourer farmers are saying they can’t make the math work, can you reconsider your stance of; “…the numbers are in a place where we’re reasonably happy with the ratios and don’t intend to drastically boost them from their current target values. At the end of the day, they’re still free resources.” ?

We could break down the math to quantify this claim but in their current state labourers are a NET LOSS to our characters economy…Personally, I’m glad they put this patch in without holding it back due to concerns. Not sure the level of telemetry and data they have available, but it’d be super interesting to see the amount of total fame being put into books now, versus before. As well as the number of folks harvesting in red/black zones, etc.

From my own (very anecdotal) perspective, it seems like hardly anyone is gathering in red zones now, as I’m finding full nodes and dire wolves choke full of skins. This makes be wonder if a lot of the traffic wasn’t caused by people filling books, people who are no longer bothering to go out and fill them.

But then, think about the long-term repercussions of this change. Most of us probably have a pretty good inventory of resources from the previous bountiful laborer system. That will eventually dry up. Once it does, what will that do to resource prices? If they skyrocket, won’t that make people more likely to risk going to red/black zones to obtain resources to sell? If so, is this a good or bad thing for the economy overall?

With complex systems like MMOs, it’s always tough to predict the downstream effect of changes. Sometimes it’s better to just try things and see what happens.

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Keep Books Filled For Albion Online

I think the crafter hirelings and perhaps the mercenary ( I have yet to use a Mercenary ) are the only ones useful now. These you just need to have books in your inventory, normal gameplay, or crafting will fill them. I do not think the gathering hireling books are worth filling now. Perhaps the players living in the RED and BLACK zones find it much easier to fill their books with Rare resource nodes extremely high fame. It requires much more time in the green zone filling books. I went a bit overboard, building 8 houses on two islands with 20 hirelings total. It was a full time job trying to keep books filled for all these hirelings. I quit using 1/2 of them, long before this patch. In the future I will probably only use the ones in my primary house.

I don’t bother filling books anymore. I used to carry around a couple of low-tier mercenary journals, just as a way of tracking xp gain, but now that they fill at 800, it’s not feasible to carry so many.

I hope you reconsider. You risk removing one of the single most compelling aspects of AO if you view it as nothing more than a way to get a low number of free resources. Obviously, the returns need to be toned down from what they are now, but numbers on test aren’t even in the ball park.

Lose laborers, and you lose the only reason I have a personal island. (I don’t farm). Lose laborers, and you lose the only reason I gathered rough logs/stone and bought other mats to upgrade my buildings. Lose laborers and you lose my only incentive to buy or craft increasingly higher tier furniture.

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