Albion Online

Cross platform sandbox full loot MMO due later this year.

Sign me up if they can deliver on half of these features…

Since they don’t seem to have enough bandwidth to keep their front page going, I highly doubt they’ll be able to deliver anything worth my time.

Hmm I haven’t had any problems connecting to their site. Is it plugged in?

Getting close to release. I haven’t played it, but it does look like they have implemented most of what they were aiming for. Might be worth a look.

The 3 or 4 people I know had fun playing so far, but they’ll wait for the final server wipe prior the launch before they’ll return.

(Disclaimer: the company I work at did concept and 3D work on this one, but I haven’t played it myself since I’m not much of an MMO person.)

If anyone is playing this and looking for a guild of mature gamers who like small group PvP (think DAoC or SB), just let me know. Character is named Banzai if you want to message me in game.

Decided to try this but they don’t want my money. It uses Arcot which, first off looks like a MITM site (its not, but it sure appears to be one) and B: keeps giving me an error. Blech!

My last post in this thread was 20 days ago, and in that time I’ve spent about 100 hours playing this game. It has grabbed me the way DAoC and SB grabbed me, and before them, Asheron’s Call. I will attempt to give an overview of the game, but I still don’t know how some things work, so please forgive the incompleteness of my post.

I remember seeing the banner ads for Albion Online a couple of years ago and not only payed no attention to them, I openly scoffed at what appeared to be yet another browser-based pay to play money grab. I was openly antagonistic to the game, but three weeks ago a friend reported that it was having a full server reset in anticipation of release in July, so I decided to pop in and see if there’s anything interesting there. Well, there’s a lot to like.

Albion Online is an MMO, played from a third person perspective like Diablo and UO, and made to run on everything from tablets to PCs. It is a sandbox game, like DAoC, EVE, and SB, where the endgame is what the players decide it is, with politics and alliances at its heart. There are a number of interlocking systems in place, most of which are familiar, but they are implemented unusually in many cases. Gathering, crafting, farming, PvE, PvP, building/housing, and claiming/attacking/defending territories are all important parts to the game. The class system is different from most MMOs, and solves many of the problems I’ve had with previous systems.

I’ll start with the class system. In this game, you don’t choose a class. Instead you choose items to wear and wield. The items have abilities and spells attached to them, and when you wear them, you gain those abilities and spells. There are three classes of armor and a whole lot of weapons, and you can mix and match them as you choose. The possible combinations are huge.

Every item in the game has an associated quality, called it’s tier. The tiers range from 1-8. Each tier of equipment is about 10-20% better than the previous tier, so it’s noticeable, but not like WoW where old gear is simply useless when the new gear comes out. A tier 4 weapon or armor is perfectly serviceable for most things.

To get better at things and advance your tier, you do whatever it is you want to advance. You gain fame for all actions, and that fame unlocks the next tier. So, to get to the next tier of plate armor, you wear the current tier of plate armor and go fight. Once you gain enough fame, you ding the next tier and can wear it. If you want to use a healing staff or a bow, you go do it with a low tier, and work up to a higher one. The same is true for all gathering, refining, making and using armor and weapons, making food, furniture, accessories - the number of things to do is really big.

The catch is that as you go higher in tiers, it takes more fame to reach the next tier. It’s easy to get to tier 3 in many things, but tier 4 starts to require a lot more time and effort. You can choose to be ok at a lot of things or to be very good at a few things, and if you have enough time to spend, you could eventually get good at a lot of things.

Grouping is very similar to previous MMOs, in that you usually want a mix of tankiness, crowd control, damage, and healing, although the skills available for those things are different given different armor and weapons. Soloing is very possible, particularly for gathering, crafting, farming, and building. You can solo PvE as well, but the best use of time is in a group, which is usually easy to get at one of the group adventuring areas. Easier if you are in a guild, of course, but people are friendly about inviting. Combat involves a fair bit of positioning to avoid spell and ability effects, and good coordination with your group makes a big difference in success. Timing and communication matter a fair bit. PvE is good for earning fame and silver, the currency of the realm, with which you can buy most everything.

Everything in the game is made by players aside from the raw resources (ore, wood, stone, fiber, hide) and mob loot. All weapons, armor, furniture, mounts, gathering tools, accessories, food, potions, etc are player made. Each town has an auction hall where players sell and buy their goods. The halls are not connected between towns, and hauling between towns is a very viable way to buy low and sell high and make some good silver. Crafting takes place at stations that are also player-owned. You can have your own stations on a personal island, a guild island, or can use someone’s station for a user-determined fee. Crafting stations use food, as the NPC crafters that work there have to eat or something. Bloody peasants. So you usually build a farm on your island as well and make some carrot soup for your NPCs to eat. Or you can buy it. Or make a lot and sell it. You get the idea.

There are four different types of zones in the game, each with its own tier. The starting continent has safe zones where there is no PvP, and moves to yellow zones, where there is limited PvP with warnings about the number of aggressive players in the zone and where any player kills have happened. Yellow is pretty safe if you want to avoid fighting and pay attention. In the middle of the starting continent are red zones where you don’t get much if any warning of aggressive players, and if you get killed, you lose all of the equipment and items you are carrying. There are two other continents, where there are safe zones as ports, and then the zones are all black - where open PvP and full loot are the rules. Many of these zones on all continents can be claimed by guilds and fought over in GvG battles that take place at pre-determined times, like banes in SB.

The safe zones have resources up to tier 4. Tier 5 and higher require going to yellow, red, or black zones. As you might expect, the safe zones are crawling with gatherers, making it harder to find resources due to the competition. Yellow zones have fewer gatherers, but still a lot of competition. Red and black are mostly untouched, making them a high risk, high reward prospect. Losing your gear in this game isn’t as big a deal as in other games. You don’t usually take your best gear out into a risky area, and rather use tier 3 or 4 gear that is easy and cheap to replace.

Albion does a lot of things that I really like. With the tier system and item-based abilities, they effectively make it so that you can always group with your friends. There are no classes or levels to get in the way of grouping with the people you want to group with. This is a huge advantage over pretty much every other MMO I’ve played. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just needed a tank to complete a group, or friends are playing and I join and I’m just not high enough level for their content. No such problem in Albion.

You can choose to really specialize and make bank doing so - I mean, how many other tier 7 furniture makers are there in the world? Or you can stick to tier 4-5 and do a number of things.

As an example, my character is focused on crafting and using higher tier maces, but I also got plate armor up to tier 4 so I can make my own replacement armor and make a little money selling them. I can gather and refine up to tier 5 ore, fiber, and stone, and plan to continue to work on all of those. My personal island has two plots of land and a house that has NPCs that I send out to gather raw materials for me. My guild has an island with lots of crafting stations and its own NPC gatherers as well.

There’s a lot to do and learn, and I don’t know all of it yet. But I do know that the system in place is the best sandbox MMO I’ve seen yet. It has aspects of the GvG from DAoC, the territory control of SB, and the economy of EVE. I started with antagonism toward yet another browser-based money grab and instead found the best MMO I’ve played in years. The game is still technically in beta but is very much ready for release in July.

Dammit, Banzai! You’re not helping me ignore this game and the stupid semi-broken payment system they use.

Edit: Well, used a dif cc and it took. I don’t get to play often in the evenings or often at all really, but I’ll hit you up in game once I get the hang of things. Thanks for the push!

Thanks, @Banzai! That was really helpful.

One more quick question if you have time. Is your personal island completely safe from pvp and raiders?

I may try to pick it up this week and will holler if I want to try out a guild. Is there a big reason to pick up one of the bigger tier packages to start with or is it best to just start with the entry one and can you upgrade later?

Thanks!

Sorry @lostcawz - that was some bad timing on our posts. I haven’t tried to buy gold yet, but that’s coming as my premium status will be used up in 10 days or so, and I definitely want to subscribe/premium.

@Kelan, your personal island and guild island are completely safe, instanced areas. They are separate from any territories your guild may claim. Some territories have buildable areas, so you can build another guild hall and crafters farms etc in the territory, but if you lose the territory in GvG, you lose the buildings as well.

The bigger tier packages are nice to start out, as you have an ox to haul raw materials and goods (very useful on a brand new server), and more gold to use either to buy silver (from other players) or to purchase more premium time. By now it’s not as big a deal, as prices for oxen/horses have dropped to reasonable levels. I have the $30 package, but I may up that prior to release. Any gold you buy during the beta is reported to be replaced for release, so there’s that too.

Good deal. Thank you!

Oh, no worries. Was joking about being tempted by your post as I would have tried again with a dif cc sooner or later. Your post just made my choice immediate. :)

So I did all the tutorial stuff and then went thru the first town thingy out into the country. Did some fox and wolf killing but couldn’t skin the wolves yet due to lack of tier 2 tools. Went thru a bandit camp also and came close to dying once or twice, mostly by not paying attention to my health.

Now I’m back in the beginning town and bouncing around between the various crafting tables getting better gear and whatnot. It’s super nice of them to have copper veins right next to the station for crafting copper bars. :D

Anyway, very enjoyable so far. Oh, I went on and got the middle tier pack ($50). Figured wth.

@lostcawz The ‘cross’ towns have everything you need to get to tier 4, and the refining and crafting are free there. Once you move on to the main city, you either have to spend silver at a player-run station or make your own station on your personal island or guild island. I’d stay at the ‘cross’ town and make forays into the neighboring safe zones to farm and level up the crafting skills you plan to use prior to moving to the big city, so to speak.

Feel free to add me to your friends list and we can get you into a group, which is much, much better fame and silver for your PvE time. Crafting is a good solo endeavor, but PvE is really best done as a team.

I have this and have played a bit. Not sure I’ll play much before the last wipe though.

@Banzai’s account of the game above sounds appealing. Really, it’s the first MMO that’s sounded appealing to me in years.

What’s the payment model for this game? A quick look at the site seems to indicate it’s buy to play. However, there seems to be a premium status, which looks like it may be a subscription model. Does anyone know which it is? What does ‘premium’ get you and can you effectively play the game without it?

Edit: I just noticed they have tooltip info when mousing over ‘premium’.

You receive 30 days of Premium Status for a character. The Premium Status provides that character with faster game progression, higher resource yields and much more.

When are they saying the final wipe will occur? And would you say it’s important for an Albion Online newbie to get feet wet before the wipe or just sit it out until after the wipe and start fresh with everyone else?

You can play the game without it, but it is significantly less effective. It basically cuts your fame gain in half to not have premium, which impacts every aspect of progression. $40 buys you about 8000 gold, and premium runs 2500 gold for a month, so it’s along the same lines as other MMOs that charge for subscriptions. You can, however, trade silver for gold with other players, giving a way to use in game earning to pay for your premium time.

The game is scheduled for release on July 17th, as best I can tell, so there’s a fair bit of time still for beta. I do think it’s valuable to have some familiarity with the armor and weapon skills, as well as how gathering/refining/crafting work, and the amount of time it takes to level such things up prior to release, so you can plan your initial time in game. I know that I will do things very differently on release than I have done during beta, where I’ve been trying lots of things to get an idea how they work. It has not been even close to optimal.

I am starting to understand the game systems a bit now. I am only wearing T3 gear and making a bit of my own stuff, but now is when it starts to get a bit more difficult to make all of your own things, it appears, so will start looking for a group to hang out with.

How do we get set up with our own private island? I can’t figure that part out yet at all.

Each of the big cities has a harbormaster, even if there’s not a connection to an ocean. He’s wearing a nautical-looking hat (like a sideways schooner) and should be close to the town square. You can buy and level up your island there.

If you want to hang out with us, look for me (banzai), redfive, rittchard, or kalimac in game. Any of us can invite you.