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More Albion Online suggestions / observations

1. This is the only MMO I have ever played were subscribing was per character rather than per account. $12.95 a month per character is exorbitant.

- If you want to discourage alt play this much, just restrict all accounts to one character, although I must say that if I'd know that was going to be the case, I wouldn't have bought the game. If this is being done just to stop the auto-accumulation of LP's, it is genuinely a silly solution.

- The game is your code, and as such, you can simply add restrictions on play to LP's. E.g. if the character hasn't been played for x hours in the last y hours, then turn off LP accumulation until the threshold is met. This is a simple check, code-wise that can be placed right next to the code that checks the character for premium. All you need to do is have a check on play time that sets a boolean and test that boolean. Personally, I'd suggest 2-4 hours every 24 to allow people with real lives (unlike me) to still earn LP's on one character per day.

 

2. This game actively discourages experimentation with builds.

 

- I first played this game about a week and a half ago, and I wanted to play multiple types of builds to figure out what suited my playstyle, etc. To do this, I ended up farm an exorbitant amount of skeletons... I mean a metric butt load of skellies... All in journeyman gear...

- I'd suggest that this is a negative feature of the game that will lead people to quit within the first month when their first build fails to meet their expectations in t5...

- I should be able to try multiple weapons, skills, armor combinations in t3. This artificial imposition of forcing me to fight a large number of mobs using a weapon I have no interest in only to find out that the weapon I thought would be awesome is not to my taste.

- I'd suggest putting a weaker version of every weapon in t3 and letting players craft and experiment to their hearts content. Being new to the game should not be something that is actively punished or discouraged -- especially given the dearth of informative descriptions in the game at present.

- Isn't this supposed to be a sandbox game? Doesn't that mean I should be able to experiment or even play multiple builds? Why are we so locked in to a single build with the cost of "rerolling" so arbitrarily high?

- IF we could experiment in T3 to determine where we wanted to focus, the T4+ specialization tree makes more sense. As it is now, it is just discouraging.

 

3. Current state of the map, starting zones, and where the real game lives

 

- I have really enjoyed my introduction to the game. I've enjoyed the gathering / crafting focus of the game and the discovery of dungeons, etc.

- HOWEVER, I've come to realize that these starting zones have nothing to do with the *real game* which lives in the black zones. I find this discouraging, because, as I've already stated, I was encouraged to make decisions that effectively wasted my time and albion online gold... Having an island in a green city seems silly now. I can never access it if I move to a black city, I can never move it. I can only throw it, and my t5 buildings away and relocate. Is this truly what is intended? More punishment for being new?

- The game seems really confused as to its own identity. Is this a hardcore pvp game (as represented by black zones) or more of a fun for everyone kind of game as the green zones represent? Is the intent to take pvers and gradually expose them to hardcore pvp and thus "convert" them? Because that will never happen... Personally, I like to keep pvp consensual. I don't want to gank someone who doesn't want to/ isn't ready (in terms of gear and being awake). Many games have pvp zones such as the black zones, and safe zones such as the green zones. I don't think I've played one, though that requires you to visit the hardcore zones to craft the gear you need to be viable in the hardcore zones (well, I have, of course, but not games that have "safe zones" as well). I'm all for hcpvp. I'm definitely against forcing players into hcpvp at an obviously intentional disadvantage

- the "royal" zones really supposed to be our home bases? If so, why is travel to the high level zones so difficult? I can understand not wanting people going to a black zone, gathering an ox load and teleporting home, but just to get to a black zone from where my home base is requires a looooooong, boring ride to the place where I can teleport TO the black zone. That is... well, that is discouraging pvp, IMO

- Red zones... I'm unsure what they are supposed to be. All I know is that they are high tier gathering zones in which you must be wearing good gear and traveling in a group to avoid losing everything you own. Okay, I'm cool with that -- there should be a risk/reward component to high level materials, but is T5 the right place for this?

- I'd suggest that full looting should happen at a more appropriate level (say the minimum level of being viable in a black zone...), otherwise, you are just putting another imposition in the way of the real pvp game. I have to get to t5 to be viable in the zones I need to farm to be viable in the zones where the real game occurs? *caveat here: I haven't seen gameplay in the black zones. I've been told to go there as I am equipped means I better be a good crafter who isn't attached to my horse... that I have absolutely no hope of survival there. Okay -- it's only been a week and a half, I'm cool with that, but it's hardly sandbox, then, is it?

- The idea of green, yellow, red, and black zones seems good (if maybe a little over complicated). I'd suggest re-examining this concept and perhaps simplifying it to green and yellow and black. Or perhaps have red zones as a border to black zones in which players can go for small scale pvp (with appropriate motivators and rewards to small scale pvpers). I would also like to suggest that the idea of "even" fights should be encouraged, while the typical definition of ganking and griefing should be actively punished (by gameplay mechanics rather than by gms and bans).

- With the current map, travel to and from black zones needs to be rethought. I'd suggest a boat system that makes traveling to and from black zones easy. If you want to gank me a steals my lootses, you have to do that before I reach the boat out of the black zones. But, if you make it such a PITA to get to the black zones, you never get to loot me at all

- I would suggest that the draw and reward of being in an hcpvp zone is to pvp -- if the draw isn't present in the game's design, this can't be fixed with bandaids like loot drops and pve dungeons, but instead the design itself must be re-examined. DAoC, while not hardcore pvp, had a very intense and very active pvp game. People played for years and years and years (in fact, many still do, more than a decade after the game "ended"). No one was ever in a pvp zone who did not want to be in a pvp zone. Yes, there were zergs, and there were motivations for being there that impacted the pve game, but nothing that forced someone out there before they were ready. In addition, players who wanted to pvp could ONLY do so in those zones. That was very much part of why it was so successful as a game mechanic.

 

I don't want all this to come across as negative or ranting -- I am truly enjoying the game I've seen so far. I like the old-school feel. Having said that, I do think it could be more fun. I haven't been here long, so my take on the game is unbiased by what came before -- at the same time, I don't know the history or what was originally intended by the decisions that led to this version of the game. I'm also looking at this from the long term perspective of a game industry vet who wants this game to succeed in the marketplace and be around a long time for me to play. I don't want to invest time and money in another game with great promise that dries up in a couple of months.

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