Thursday, May 12, 2016

Need I Spend My Money on Albion Online

I was just seriously bored and needed something to play. First thing I did was create and delete my first character only to read the warning on the patcher the next time I opened the game. Why? Because my friend started at different area and I had no idea how to meet up other than reroll starting area.

The flexibility of the character customization is really nice. The progression and fame system (I've only got to Tier 3 weapons/armor) feels satisfying for now. The sheer amount of things to do seem exciting and I could see how this game could be really fun with a decent sized guild. However, you're right. I don't think I'll have enough time to really get the most out of this game. Although for now staying in the green zones and crafting up gear and working towards some goals seems pretty chill and casual.

Ha, no worries about deleting your first character. Depending on which founders pack you picked, the rewards aren't all that great and there will be server wipes before launch anyway so you'll get them back when they really matter.

Honestly, the amount of time you're expecting to be able to commit is probably pretty average, maybe a little less. I don't plan on spending much more time than you but I'm sure it'll be fine (probably something like 1-2 hours most days after work and 2-3 hours on the weekends). I plan on finding a casual guild and just enjoying the crafting/world. Gear isn't super important if you plan on pvping; really your ability to replace gear is what's valuable, that's why joining a guild will be really beneficial.

In a guild you'll have all different specialties of crafters and ideally a large bank of supplies/gear. You'll be able to coordinate and find groups for farming mats/pvping pretty easily. This game does reward hardcore play but casual play will definitely still have its place. I'd have to read more into it but from what I understand, they limit your ability to progress at least to a certain extent so the top players will still only be so far ahead and the gap will stagnate after some time past launch.

Monday, May 9, 2016

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Friday, May 6, 2016

Extend Albion Online Beta until November

Currently, Albion Online is planning to be released around August, 1st according to the "Road to Release" thread.

I however think this is a really bad idea because the new World of Warcraft expansion "Legion" will be released August, 30th. So firstly, the multi-million dollar marketing campaign preceding its launch will basically drown out any competition. Additionally you have the "Warcraft" movie in June that will create loads of hype for the franchise and has its eyes set on getting as many mainstream movie-goers into the Warcraft game as possible. So releasing Albion Online right in the middle of Blizzard's marketing extravaganza will not help Albion at all.

Trying to release the game earlier won't help either because Blizzard is currently making headlines with Overwatch, Hearthstone, the Tracer controversy, the Nostralrius controversy, the Warcraft movie, and Legion updates, to the point that it is hogging the spotlight from everything else.

So my proposition is that Albion wait until November to release the game, because after 1 month of playing the new expansion there will be a typical player drop-off (Or as previous expansions have shown at least). This time will be the perfect time to try and snatch up those customers who are 'hung-over' from the Warcraft hype train.

Now I am not an expert in any way, so I could not tell you exactly when to release the game to maximise profits, but I am pretty sure August, 1st is a really bad release date because you'll be competing with Blizzard.

edit: CoD Infinite Warfare is releasing Novermber, 4...dammit! Will Albion ever be permitted to release?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Current State of Albion Online

I'm a player that's been there for the entirety of the open beta, and I enjoy the game very much.

In fact, I enjoy the game so much that it is the only game that keeps me interested at the moment ( along eve online).

I've got a bunch of friends I convinced the game was dope, and represented the experience we were expecting from a MMORPG ; and since a couple of months, I'm in fact just waiting for the game to be released so my friends could join me in game.
So I'm pretty much hoping that they will stick to their schedule and release the game in the whereabouts of August, but since they said that there will be wipes before the launch and it's been a while since there was one, I'm having doubts; and wonder if the game will be ready.

since the developer posted their "road to release" schedule and their release date faq, there hasn't been any update on that, the release date wasn't re-scheduled, or re-confirmed ( even if I undestand that they did not specifically said "August", but "at least August".

I understand that the developer would rather take their time to make an official statement on their website in due time to keep us informed about the state of the game and how it is coming together, but if they are reading this post me, other posters and my friends would be grateful.

We really love the game and your policies in terms of developer, It's just that we are very impatient.

It just feels a bit strange every time a game is developed that the community feels kept away from the reality of the developement. I've never seen a company including the community in the reality of the developement, by for examples tweeting every several days what they are currently working on ( like textures on X place, or fixing errors in the code causing crashes or whatever) even if it would seem boring to talk about it. I think that the lack of communication builds pressure upon the developer because expectations are being built at the same time in the playerbase. Re schedules wouldn't appear as frustrating if the developement info was more transparent and casual in my opinion. it feels very formal to receive update news about the state of a game that feels very personal and fun.

Well all that is no rant, I'm just being genuinely impatient to play and fully dedicate my self to a character and a playstyle with my friends, without the menacing shadow of wipe in the horizon.

that day, I'll buy the full 100$ package to show my gratitude.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Albion Online is in a unique situation since there is a gear ceiling determined by tiers

There's no endless progression through added weapons and armors like in traditional themepark MMOs. Item power stretches out the limited progression available and rewards players dedicated to a single item class (e.g. leveling all bows).

The current implementation does make a lot of sense, it's just majorly intransparent and unintuitive. I would much rather like to see badges/masteries introduced that are limited to a single item (no item lines) that have fixed, predefined values attached.

1. Item power should be completely scrapped. Item quality (which should be unlocked by crafting upgrades and not reroll spam) will give a flat bonus to any relevant attributes.
2. At certain progression stages, players unlock a mastery for their weapons/armors. Each level of mastery adds a predefined amount of damage/healing/HP/armor/mres to any item in the same progression path.

As of right now, item power decays significantly with tiers. Going from T4 to T5 leaves you with about 15% more item power, going to T6 gives an extra 12%, T7 slows down to 10%.
Reason being the exponential nature of the formula. The more item power you have, the greater the impact is.

This renders the system to be completely opaque to users. Going from 1400 to 1500 in item power does not mean the same than going from 1500 to 1600. 3 charges of Slit Throat would return the following damage depending on item power:

1400 -> 2020
1500 -> 2204
1600 -> 2407
1700 -> 2628
1800 -> 2869

What this introduces is gear dependency. Someone with a considerably larger amount of item power over another player will have a significant advantage even when at the same tier level. None of the players can reliably judge the power level difference before engaging, which could lead to feelings of unfairness and randomness.

Second consequence is that high-tiered players gain asymmetric advantages over time the more item power they accumulate. In other words: gear starts to become more important than it should be. At least in a PvP-focused and skill-based game.