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Albion Online Feedback and Thoughts

Size of the maps - nice. Plenty of place to walk around in, plenty of mats. It feels tough sometimes when you cant find a specific tier mat, but this is off set from the little excitement of finding a sparkling mat you can harvest.


Size of world - too large. I am thinking about moving from noobie areas to black areas (as open world gvg pvp was how the game was sold to me), but the journey is very daunting. Moving around in general is very off putting.

Player base vs size - every game losses players. Given the size of the maps and the world, once the player bases drops, whole regions will seem like ghost towns. Seeing nobody in an mmo is like the kiss of death.

 

The Grind - is real. This is one heck of a grindy game. Its the main thing I will take away from my time playing Albion, and probably the first response I will give when somebody asks 'What's Albion Online like?'

 

The Gear (Tier Levels) - I like the simplicity. The disposable nature. The not vast difference in levels. It made pvp seem like a good brawl, and something you didn't mind all that much if you died and lost it all. Then I found out about sparkle mats, different qualities, different skills, and suddenly it's a little more complicated. Now I don't know if I am going to lose a fight simply because that guy has 4.2, 5.3, shiny/sparkling. So I avoid pvp until I too get my shiny.. then given the time it took me to farm said shiny, I don't want to fight and risk losing it...

 

Player economy - mixed. I really like the up-crafting idea (need tier 2 to craft 3) which makes for a nice flow of resources, but.. when resources and items are abundant the player economy is just like any other game - over exposed.

 

Local Storage - I like the idea, but it feels annoying given the size of the maps and the world and the time it takes to travel.

 

Local Markets - From the publicity released I expected travelling merchants/caravans, with fighter escorts, taking valuable resources from one place to another. I haven't really seen this. What I have seen is a moderate 'this town needs wood, this town needs stone'. But with so many resources and players, local variation isn't that amazing, and the distance/time not very rewarding considering the other (less stressful) options to farm albion online silver.

 

GvG - this I don't get. It is like splitting the game in two. Creating a mini-game within the game. Worse that it will only be experienced by a small percentage of the player base. No guild is ever going to say 'hey, give the new player a shot'. It is always going to be the hardcore 5 (10/15). It is a MOBA that you cant play. I would have much preferred a GW2 style of capturing locations, even if it was a zergfest, it didn't exclude players and made everyone feel valuable in the fight.

 

Big Guilds - will dominate, destroy, and crush any middling to small guilds. Large guilds can afford to have (and pay for) specific players to solely focus (with premium) on crafting, or gathering, earning all their exp in one focus and becoming masters, beyond what could be hoped to be achieved by a regular player. Such players - especially when first off the mark - will rule. It is the guild equiv of Pay2Win.

 

Open World/Reputation - I came to Albion expecting free and open PvP. I read a little about the reputation system and thought it sounded good idea. But grinding back rep? It seems a little too unfair. Either be a bad-ass robber/pirate/grief ganker/outlaw or dont. The system seems to reward the opportunist thief - attack somebody while they have a lot of gear, grind back rep to mr nice guy again.

 

Home Islands - I like the workers/journal, but personal islands seem like something added to encourage more pve players, to give them something to work towards. . A fun little idea, but needs more practical use. Something more like farms - providing a resource that is scarce. Otherwise seems amusing to have these in a game sold as pvp. Which brings me to....

 

PvE - Seems very junior level and a bit out of place. Kite a few monsters, aoe, pick up albion silver, repeat. It also stands a little at odds with the concept of the game when it comes to money/albion silver. When you can hit pve, and grind that ao silver (and risk free in low levels), the pvp and the market seem irrelevant.

 

In Conclusion -

 

I get the feeling Albion Online is not the game I was sold it to be. It may once have been, or at least the idea to be a GvG/PvP game, but along the way two realizations must have hit. Firstly, just like permadeath games, sole pvp games are a niche market. Its tricky to pay the devs and keep the servers running when your client base is small. Secondly - Player Input. I get the feeling after each beta, the devs asked and the players shouted with a multitude of opinions on what they wanted in the game, or the game to be.

 

The result is a worthy attempt, but its a game split in two - on one hand you have casuals playing facebook farmville, on the other you have a handful of hardcore pvp destroying any hope of small guilds becoming involved.

 

The exclusion of players from endgame pvp is also very disappointing. By turning territory capture into a restricted 5v5,which heavily favours large guilds, its restrictive, unless you are a Top player (or dont mind sacrificing your time to support the hardcore by becoming a guild drone).

 

With such differences - the casuals playing farmville, and the hardcore ruling the top pvp - and given the size of the world, AO will have vast regions of middle ground nothing.

 

I'll continue to play and follow along, but for now it seems the private plaything of a few top pvp players, and the enjoyable entertainment of a 'new farmville'. So much for the open world gvg game I thought I bought.

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