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When I booted up Albion for the stress test - Better, or worse?

So, here we stand on the precipice of one of our most anticipated days of the past few years. And as we all know, it takes only one stumble in a race to lose a gold medal. The problem I find now, is that I am beginning to question the major changes that have taken place. We have all seen great games rise and fall with the smallest and seemingly positive changes. I am sincerely concerned for the well being of this game as well. Obviously the points I am about to make are purely opinionated and speculation. Any counterpoints are genuinely encouraged.and appreciated. So, lets move on to the good stuff.

 

A week or two before the most recent stress test the devs announced that they were adding in numerous abilities to items in order to diversify the spell list. And so when I booted up Albion for the stress test, imagine my surprise when I found out that in addition to adding FEW new abilities, they removed all abilities from off hand weapons and removed the throwing weapon subset entirely. I can't help but shake the feeling that some elements weren't working as intended or were too difficult to balance so they were scrapped. I'd like to think otherwise, but when I see a system that was already in play with rich and diverse abilities get reworked for no obvious reasons, it begs the usage of the old phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". This isn't to say that the addition of new abilities and weapon subsets wasn't a welcome change, but that to do so whilst removing elements of the game that had seemingly stable function and purpose is akin to rowing a boat on one side only; redundant and a waste of time. Which brings me to my next point, the farming system rework.

A great many people have looked to farming in the past as a meaningful and engaging method of partaking in the games player based economy. Now, one could argue that the game is pvp based and as such there should be no facets of the game taking away from that. But why not? Simply because a game has a major pvp focus, does not mean that it can't also have pve elements and even a farming sim feeling to it in particular places. For games in this age to be successful they need to be as diverse as the people that play them; and that diversity is limitless. The devs stated that they wanted to move farming to the wayside and treat it as a lesser, inferior task or craft to be accomplished in the world of Albion. But lets think about this for a moment. To remove the engaging element from farming (that is to say, to remove short grow timers and make the plots need next to no attention) is akin to removing it all together. Because in a game where everyone has a specialty, something they do well that few others can, to give a craft hard limitations to how far you can progress is the same as making everyone equal. This in turn removes the value from farming entirely, because it takes little to no effort. Why would anyone pay for something that they can do themselves? Especially since there is no way person A can be farther along in their farming progression than person B, because only so much progress can be made per day. Placing these handicaps on the farming aspect of the game is almost worse than simply removing that whole facet and replacing it with food vendor NPCs for straight albion online silver conversion. Because honestly. it takes about the same amount of effort.

 

Next, I'm going to go in an entirely different direction and address the Light/Medium/Heavy armor subsets.The concept is fantastic. I absolutely love the diversity in the armor and capability it brings to making very unique character builds. That being said, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of incentive to use anything but light armor for pvp. Fifty percent damage increase seems to be just too much for the heavier counterparts to compete with. For example (completely arbitrary), lets say a full tank spec warrior type is out and about when he gets ambushed by a physical assassin spec. Obviously our warrior is using heavy armor, however our assassin is using light. The sheer amount of damage that can be put out by the choice of light armor, is enough to secure the kill on the warrior within mere seconds of the fight. The heavy armor has no abilities to counter this, and the extra mitigation it gives feels akin to blocking with a sheet of paper, and as if that weren't bad enough, the abilities one used to have with a shield have been rescinded. This begs the question "Why use heavy armor at all if it can't even put up a fight?". Some might argue that it is a "PvE" armor. First of all, the notion that they would release a gear set that is not intended for PVP use whatsoever is laughable. Second, if there is some sort of need to make a pve version of these armors, why not do that using the select-able passive stats on the armor? It just seems like a bad idea to try and make content specific gear any other way.

 

Lastly, I would like to touch on the premium benefits. These seem to be a little strong in my opinion. To gain 50% more of ANYTHING over a free to play person feels like far too much of a handicap to them. Also, seeing as how there is quite literally a limited amount of space in the game (territories/stalls), the rate at which you can gain resources/albion online silver is directly related to how easy it will be to maintain a position of dominance. Especially since anyone who gets left behind will be essentially locked out of higher tier areas due to a lack of having comparable gear to those who control the zone. Some might say "well go back and farm to get albion online silver or work on your craft". But from that moment on you are literally fighting an uphill battle for the rest of your career. All because someone gets 50% more albion online silver because they paid money? Feel free to disagree, but that looks an awful lot like paying to be better off than your competitors.

 

Please keep in mind that these are the opinions of one person and they have been brought up to be rebuffed or agreed with at your discretion. Again, please know that I only have the deepest respect for the developers and want nothing more than to see this title rise to the top. I myself have even purchased the legendary founder's pack due to my belief in the game.

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