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Albion Online Roadmap to Closed Beta

we would like to say thank you - once again - to all our founders. Without you, Albion Online would not be possible, and without you, we would never be able to gather so much input and feedback during our regular tests.

Based on your feedback and input, and hours over hours of internal discussions, we have now identified the main topics that we will be focusing on in order to make the game ready for the closed beta.

Albion Online Roadmap to Closed Beta

We hope the list below gives you a good indication about our plans. As always, be advised that not all of the features listed might make it in time for closed beta.

1. Food Rework
Food as Consumable: Replace standard heal of time with proper longer lasting buffs. Basic buff: Strongly increased HP regeneration and energy regeneration out of combat, with specialised food having extra bonuses.
Food diversity: different buildings and territories will have certain "favourite foods" (such as the T5 smith preferring steak). When you give them their favourite food, there will be a nutrition point bonus added to the building. This will give rise to shifting supply and demand cycles in the food economy, making farming more varied
Review and rebalance all crops, animals and food types, to create a less linear, more complex food economy driven by supply and demand.

2. Player Housing, Hired NPCs, Pets

Player housing is always a great idea in general, but it is very hard to make the feature interesting and meaningful. We will add the following features:

I) Hired NPCs
you can, given that your house is large enough and adequately furnished, you can hire different types of NPCs to live in your house.
The NPCs will give you daily quests, which happen in the open world
The NPCs will be productive on their own, but only if your character also carries out the respective activity in the open world. For example, if you hire a wood cutter as an NPC, every time your character gathers wood in the open world, there is a small chance that the NPC will gather wood "while you are gone". This wood you can then pick up from time to time by visiting your player house.
Add on: you can equip your NPC, the better the equipment, the more effective he or she is
Add on: you need to supply your NPC with food
Add on: the nicer your player house, the more motivated and efficient the NPC will be
Add on for later (very unlikely to make it into closed beta): you can take 1 NPC out into the open world as a mercenary
Add on for later (very unlikely to make it into closed beta): you can also have pets (dogs, bears, dragons...) as NPCs.
II) Additional Housing Improvements
Revisit the buffs you get from your housing furniture to make them more meaningful. Ideally, turn them into long lasting daily buffs that really help you with character progression (such as: 5% fame bonus, etc)
III) Player Shops
Players can add a shop to their house (or guilds to the guild hall) which essentially acts like a small market place, with the difference that the player/guild decides on who can use it.
This, for example, allows you to offer gear to your guild members or friends and discounted prices, or allows you to set up a buy order for gear that your guild/friends are supposed to gather, giving them reward for doing so.

3. Player Island Improvements

Player Islands are very popular, and are something that we want to add more depths too, while always making sure that they are synergistic with, and not in competition to, the open game world. Here is a list of things under consideration:
Make islands upgradable and expandable
Expeditions: Players can build and equip a boat on their island and launch an expidition. The expedition will take you to an unknown island, which essentially is a multi-party "hellgate", meaning that you will encounter other players there and fight over mobs and resources. We might create a special resource category (such as "spices") which are needed for certain foods and potions.

4. General Improvements, Polishing and Bug Fixing

There are more than 100 minor changes and improvements that we have planned, which are just too many to list. Here is a few selected highlights
Friends List
Trade Chat Channel
Duels and Training Fights (to test out gear and strategies, or for bragging rights)
Tablet Performance
Improved Guild Management Tools and Logs
plus more than 100 other things

6. Rework the Gear Progression and Power Curve

Gear plays a very important role in Albion Online, and is also a core part of the player driven economy. Having said that, we believe that the current power curve of gear is far too steep, to a point where it becomes very hard to compete with players who are only few power levels higher in gear.
For the upcoming closed beta test, we will significantly flatten the gear power curve. Of course, rarer gear will always be stronger, but not by as much as it currently is
Also, we will develop a gear scaling feature which we can enable or disable for certain zones or certain types of hellgates. With gear scaling enabled, stronger gear will still be better than weaker gear, however, we can shrink the difference somewhat. Of course, higher end zones will not have any gear scaling. During closed beta, we will test this out and see how it works.

7. Gear Availability for PvP

PvP combat plays a huge role in Albion Online. We are always looking at ways in order to encourage and support PvP, without forcing it on people.
We will adjust resource distribution and the time it takes to create an item set in such a way that the effort it takes to create a decent PvP set is reduced.
High end gear will of course still be very rare and hard to get - however, if you want to venture out and do some PvP, it will be much easier to do than currently. And due to the flattened power curve, you will be able to compete, too - at least in the entry level PvP zones.

8. Skill Based Combat and Balancing

We have always stated that during the alpha phases, our main goal is to get all core features into the game, and during beta, we will focus on polishing and balancing. While the combat experience and balancing of the game has improved since last alpha, it is by no means ready for release and there is lots of room for improvement.
Make sure that items have a clear role associated with them and are actually useful and good at fulfilling this role.
For example, if I wanted to be a sneaky melee assassing taking out the enemey healers swiftly, there should be a gear configuration that makes this possible. If I want to be a damaging soaking tank that annoy the enemy team with disturbing AoE effects - so they can't ignore him or her - this should be possible. If I want to be a nuke mage, that has significant burst damage but runs out of energy quickly and is very squishy and somewhat slow, that should be possible, too.
We have actually identified a total of 19 different roles that we want to look into further.
Making these roles possible will then - with the right balancing - create very exciting possibilities and a great meta game.
On top of that, Albion's "you are what you wear" system allows you to combine anything with anything, meaning you can create all sorts of hybrids, too.
A direct result of the above is that tactics, skill and the configuration of your character and group will be much much more important in deciding the outcome of a PvP fight
In additon to the above, we will tweak our balancing formulas and try and remove as many imbalances in the game as possible before the start of the beta. This also means reviewing certain spell mechanics.

9. Removal of Silver Tax and Economy Changes

We have already stated during our last roadmap that we want to reduce the role of silver in the player driven economy. Rather than being a roadblock that people constantly hit, we want silver to be something that can be accumulated and used for a players benefit, as a positive money sink. To make this possible, the following things will be changed
We will remove the silver taxes for all zones and player islands. Thus, crafting in a building that you own will no longer cost any silver
To make sure that higher end zones are still better than green zones or player islands, you will get a rebate on ressources used when you craft in higher end zones. For example, if you craft a bow, costing you 16 wood boards, in the red zone, you would get a rebate of - on average - 1.6 wood boards. If you craft the same bow on your player island, the rebate would be 0.
We will also allow most buildings to be built everywhere - including on player islands. PvP zones are still much stronger due to the above mentioned bonuses and due to the fact that high end mobs and resources can only be found there. We are considering to make some items only craftable in buildings that can only be built on special building grounds that you first have to conquer via GvG (such as: a special forge that you can only built on a volcano, etc)
The main silver sinks in the game should be positive and additive to the game: a chance to upgrade the quality of your items for a silver cost, and the possibility to increase the tier and/or level of a resource using the transmutator. Another main silver sink that will remain largely unchanged is repairs, though we will rebalance the cost in line with the flattened gear power progression.

10. Learning Point Rework

We have found out that learning points in the summer alpha test did not work well. The main issue is that learning points can act as a total roadblock once a player runs out, and there was not much that the player could do about this. Here is what we will do:
You will still have learning points, but their role will change: you can use to instantly unlock a destiny board node that you have partially cleared (i.e. if you have 25% of the required fame, you can spend X learning points to instantly unlock the node)
To counter-balance this, the baseline fame requirements for the destiny board will be increased.
The end result is that learning points help you to level up faster - and you get to choose where. They never roadblock you. And even if you run out, you can still continue to level up, though at a slower pace.
This mechanism is much nicer than the old system, and still helps to somewhat close the gap between hardcore players and regular players.
Note: crafting endurance and building capacity will be reworked along similar lines: such that they act as a bonus and not as a roadblock

11. Local GvG

In the current state of the game, a guild only needs a "power team" of 5 players to do all their territory fights. This is boring for all the other members of the guild, and also make it far too easy for the guild to defend huge amounts of territory without many problems. To counteract this, we will make guild vs guild fights more local.
The global battle vault will be replaced with local ones. Thus, you character will need to have a battle vault at the zone that is being attacked or that he or she is attacking from, making logistics far more important for guilds that own multiple territories, and also allowing other guilds to try and interrupt their supply chain
At the start of a guild vs guild fight, your character will need to be in the proximity of the fight in order to take part
After having taken part in a guild vs guild fight, for a duration of 24 hours, your character can only enter into another guild vs guild fight if it happens close to the first guild vs guild fight that took place. After 24 hours have passed, that restriction is lifted.

12. GvG: Warcamps and Timers
There will be neutral warcamps on the map from which you can attack certain territories, even if your guild does not own one itself yet
If we unlock new territories going forward, they will be intially locked down by a timer, and claiming them will be a channeled cast, in order to allow all guilds a fair shot to claim them

13. Hellgate Expansion

We feel that our hellgate concept has been a great addition to the game and want to expand on the idea. Here is how:
Offer hell gates for different group sizes - anything from 1vs1 to 50vs50 is thinkable
Offer hell gates with more than two parties, such as 5vs5vs5vs.
Create "hell gates" will different themes - it doesn't always have to be demons, and it doesn't always have to be a lava themed hell

14. Open World PvP Events

We want to encourage open world PvP while at the same time making sure that it does not automatically turn into a zergfest. Here is how:
At set times of the day, spawn multiple "treasure chests" in the world. These chests are on lockdown of 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, they can be opened, but opening them is a channel cast, taking 3 minutes, that is interrupted by any damage you take.
Have people fight over the chests until someone prevails
As there will be multiple spawns at the same time, there is a natural incentive for large guilds to split up into smaller groups, trying to take more than one chest. This will naturally prevent the incentive to zerg.
The above idea is not restricted to chests, but could also work with open world bosses, for example.

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