GDC 2016: Take a Look at The Tablet Version of Albion Online

Albion Online is in a closed beta right now. In GDC 2016, the developer offered a brief look at how the touch interface of Albion Online is going to work. No kidding, it’s exactly like how it works on a PC with a mouse. One major correction from this video though, Albion Online is going to be universal. The experience likely won’t be as great on the iPhone, but you will be able to play it on any device.

The followings are another three videos of what high-level Albion Online play looks like:

Open World PvP

ALBION ONLINE DEVS ON NEXT UPDATE AND TEST POPULATIONS

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Albion Online Game Director Robin Henkys and Creative Director Jörg Friedrich have posted their first dev vlog. In it, they give an overview of what’s coming in the Cador update, including a death mechanics overhaul. The devs also took a moment to explain their population goals during the testing process, telling forumgoers that the test population is “very stable” in recent weeks and “more than sufficient.”

“On top of that, population numbers are not a focus for us right now. We are not doing any marketing or sales at the moment, as we want to reserve that for when we believe the game is where it should be. That’s why we are also very comfortable with some people taking a break from the game right now – in particular, with the future wipe looming in the air. You can expect our next traffic and player re-activation push to be around the time of the next wipe, which is still some time off. This will already feature the first version of our new game world, and of course tons and tons of new features, content and improvements.”

Check out the vlog below.

Changes for an exciting launch

I’ve been hopping around the forums since this beta started, been over a year since I last played prior.

Here’s my thoughts as an old UO player, who kickstarted albion and hasn’t played since very early beta’s (and has played pretty much nonstop since this beta launched to prep for release). I get that I haven’t been keeping in touch during whole ride like some people have, so maybe there’s good reason why some of these things are the way they are.

So, if anyone thinks any of these changes would be bad design choices, please persuade me, so I can in turn persuade others. I have a lot of friends, especially old UO players who I would love to get into Albion, but there’s some red flags preventing many from pulling the trigger when I talk about the game.

Remove Alts

  • There’s no reason for alts in a game where you can learn everything. In its current form it is abused with the current LP system and multiple private islands. There’s also plenty of other ways to easily abuse alts, from spying to scouting, that hurt PvP. If people want to abuse these things, at least force them to buy an additional account, 1 character per account makes far more sense in this game.

Remove LP

  • Just give players a rested fame bonus based on how much time offline up to a cap, and lower overall fame requirements (especially in certain categories that are painfully slow atm). LP seems like such a strange way to help casuals when versions of rested experience date all the way back to UO with power hour. The current system is just abused by non-casuals for faster progression through alts. The LP build up also causes players to bypass lower tiers of the game, hurting meaningful progression and making me question why those lower tier zones exist at all.

Customize Islands

  • Other than their main house, let players decide what goes on their island. For example, if someone wanted to focus on farming, he’d probably rather have 1 more farm plot vs 2 more building plots, or however you want to balance plot/building ratio. That could and should be an option if farming was more involved and required effort, discussed next.

Change Farming

  • Make it a viable profession and way to play the game, rather than a daily 24h chore/income generator. Make it more active rather than time gated, and add more buildings + interactions and professions associated with it. Some people just wanna play mmo harvest moon/farmville/whatever on their island and supply their friends with food/mounts/pets/rares. That should be an option, but require effort and feel rewarding for time invested. Right now it’s a “wait x amount of time for free money” mechanic that requires no effort, a daily chore. It’s not fun gameplay. Also see Laborers below.

Change Laborers

  • Buying and filling up books, boring. I have a stockpile of a ton of filled ones, it’s now a once a day click chore like farming is. Also highly abused, especially with alt islands, just like current farms. After initial investment I now make a crazy profits sending a small army of npc’s out to collect silver for me in what’s the equivalent of a couple slave islands.
  • Instead of slave camps, replace laborers with a personal companion/lackey you can customize in your home. Assign them chores to speed up things around the island (farm growth/yield buff) or give minor buffs to the buildings output (small resource return), or really anything other than free income slave camps.

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Hotzones

  • In Shadowbane there was a fun mechanic called hotzones, where all drops were doubled in that zone for a couple hours. This brought zones to life with fun PvP and higher rewards. In safe zones it might be too much, put them in red/black zones to encourage risk/reward/pvp. Since the zones are pretty void of enemies outside the dungeons, have temporary camps pop up when the hotzone goes live. Can make it an event like so-and-so bad guys took over x area, clear em out!

Rare Mob Spawn

  • Dungeons being this static are reaaaaaal boring for the dungeoneer, outside of the occasional ganking or being ganked. Easiest thing would be to add a chance for rare mob packs to spawn like in Diablo. Give them random modifiers to give players a challenge and yield better rewards and chance of artifact drop.

Artifact rework

  • Maybe missing something here, but I HATE how artifacts work right now. All these little fragments are just annoying, it makes me skip looting most the time cause it’s a pain and feels unrewarding. Get rid of fragment drop, keep rare whole artifact drops so when you see a bag you know it’s something good, and increase whole artifact drops in Hotzones (if implemented), Hellgates, and other heavily contested areas. If it has to have some sorta silver sink or whatever, make them unidentified or something and pay silver to ID them.