albion online

Official Site: Albion Online
Studio: Sandbox Interactive
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Fantasy PvP Sandbox
Business Model: N/A
Platform: PC

Make My MMO: Star Citizen scrubs release windows from 3.0 schedule, Fig investors turn a profit (August 12, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen surprised backers by removing all “aim dates” from its weekly production schedule, which is intended to provide a roadmap toward the (very delayed) 3.0 alpha release. CIG instead provided two graphs it says will give a “more accurate look at where [it is] trending” – check those out down below. (Cheers, Cotic!)

In more meta news, Fig announced that a game promoted through its equity crowdfunding platform actually generated profit for investors, a first for the company. That game would be Kingdoms and Castles, which according to Polygon netted $1M in sales and consequently provided a 100% return to investors through Fig (double their money). It’s not an MMO, of course, but several MMORPGs have turned to this type of equity crowdfunding since it became legal last autumn, including Crowfall and Shroud of the Avatar.

Meanwhile, Albion Online continued suffering from extortionists’ DDOS attacks, we kicked off a month-long deep-dive into Shroud of the AvatarDual Universe scored a huge chunk o’ change in its run up to alpha, Pantheon published its monthly newsletter, and we got the details on the superhero MMO panel at PAX, which we’ll be attending in person (thanks, cyanpill!).

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Albion Online wings a week of extra time at players for DDOS disruptions

Albion Online emerges this week extremely battered and bruised after a prolonged series of DDOS attacks against the game and even demands for ransom payments by the perpetrators to make it stop.

Hopefully it’s in the past now as the studio has taken steps to shore up the game’s defenses. For players who found themselves bereft of a game experience, Albion Online is gifting some extra subscription time as compensation. All players who have been subbed between July 17th and August 11th will get an extra week of game time credited to their account (this is on top of an additional week of subscription gifted for launch issues).

“Properly defending against well-executed DDOS attacks is a very challenging task, and far harder than a quick Google search might suggest,” the team posted. “In close collaboration with leading experts in the field, we are making significant progress. Recent attacks have impacted the server’s performance, but generally were not successful in bringing it down. Our defenses are constantly being optimized and fine-tuned. Having said that, we are not in a position to give the ‘all clear’ just yet.”

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Albion Online offers proof that it is still being DDOSed by RMT blackmailers

It’s hard not to feel sorry for Albion Online.

As we’ve been reporting, the newbie sandbox has been absolutely plagued by a long series of nasty DDOS attacks since at least early last weekend, causing repeated server outages and extreme frustrations that have continued into today. Developer Sandbox Interactive has characterized the outages as the “result of a concerted effort to bring Albion Online down with a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS),” which the developers believe is retaliation for their actions against goldsellers who swarmed the game at launch. The RMT company or companies also reportedly served the studio ransom demands, but the studio declared it will not give into blackmail.

In the meantime, the servers are still up and down like a seesaw; the latest DDOS began less than an hour ago, and while Sandbox has already apologized (repeatedly) and told its fans it’s consulting with experts and working on defensive infrastructure, players have begun questioning the developers’ ability to solve the problems – some even questioned the DDOS and blackmail attempts themselves.

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Albion Online’s DDOS blackmail saga continues

I’ve more than once joked with our writers and readers that Massively OP is not an uptime monitor, but we’re making a special exception for the beleaguered Albion Online this week. As we’ve previously reported, the newbie sandbox has been suffering a series of nasty DDOS attacks since early last weekend, causing repeated server outages and extreme frustrations that have continued into today.

Sandbox Interactive has characterized the outages as the “result of a concerted effort to bring Albion Online down with a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS),” which the developers believe is retaliation for their actions against goldsellers plaguing the game. Furthermore, as we noted yesterday, Sandbox says that it’s been served with a ransom demand from the attackers, which the studio characterized as a “blackmail” attempt for money that it will not give into.

“It goes without saying that we will never give in to them. As every black mailer will know, it’s the worst thing you could ever do. Of course, every blackmail attempt and DDOS attack is being reported to the relevant law enforcement agencies, too, though realistically the chance to catch somebody is quite slim. Having said that, sometimes it does happen, and if it does, we will pursue every case to the fullest extend possible, no matter where the offender is based – above activities are a crime in every jurisdiction in the world and it’s always possible to find a local law firm to represent you.”

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Albion Online hit with ransom demand during weekend DDOS outages

On Saturday, we reported on a series of nasty DDOS attacks on the newly launched PvP sandbox Albion Online, which unfortunately continued throughout the weekend and took the servers offline for play.

“The current server outage is the result of a concerted effort to bring Albion Online down with a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS),” Sandbox Interactive told players on Saturday. “This is most likely in response to our recent actions against gold sellers to coerce us to not interfere with their illegal business. We’re working with our datacenter to find ways to mitigate this attack.”

Yesterday, however, Sandbox devs told players that they had actually been served with a ransom demand from the attackers, which the studio characterized as a “blackmail” attempt for money.

The servers are currently back up; hopefully, they stay up. Judging by the replies to the tweets, I’d say the playerbase is getting antsy.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen 3.0 progress report, Albion Online DDOSed after RMT crackdown (August 5, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen posted its monthly studio report along with its updated 3.0 production report as it works on the “User Experience Polish Pass.” Players tracked only two delays in this report: the UI and the mission system AI. Cross your fingers that the Evocati test access begins next week as planned (it’s actually looking pretty good).

Elsewhere, Albion Online was slammed with a DDOS attack yesterday, which the devs say was “most likely in response to [SI’s] recent actions against gold sellers to coerce [SI] to not interfere with their illegal business.”

Meanwhile, Camelot Unchained teased testing for beta 1 backers, Path of Exile launched its latest expansion, Crowfall profiled a dev, Dogma Eternal Night tinkered with its mission system, Descent Underground released a demo on BrightLocker, City of Titans returned to Twitch, and Global Adventures successfully funded on Kickstarter.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Global Chat: Dipping into Albion Online

Now that Albion Online has officially launched, what’s the verdict? It’s a little hard to get a feel for that, since I haven’t seen a huge crowd heading off to play it, but I do know that there are some that have been waiting for this colorful sandbox MMO.

Occasional Hero posted his launch impressions, saying, “Playing Albion feels a lot like going back to RuneScape. It’s an isometric, crafting-focused, click-to-move game where players have to compete for resources. Even the graphics are similar […] If I get to the endgame and everything I need is walled inside PvP zones controlled by massive, EVE-style guild conglomerates, I won’t be sticking around. Sadly, from a lot of the player feedback I’ve been hearing, it sounds like that’s what a lot of it is going to end up being.”

And SparkoMarkoGaming has done us all a service by blogging through his first few days in the game. “I knew what to expect from playing the beta and nothing seemed to have changed in the gameplay,” he noted.

Continue with us on our journey through MMO blog essays in this week’s Global Chat! On deck is a look at Star Citizen’s alpha, an evaluation of Secret World Legends, and a look at gamers’ “play personalities.”

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Albion Online updates players on server issues and offers compensation

Every game is going to have issues when it launches; the good ones acknowledge those issues and keep players updated on the state of those issues and their solutions. Albion Online has run into some growing pains since its launch, and the developers are working hard at fixing the biggest ones, discussing the issues behind overcrowded areas, lag in larger fights, and periodic server reboots. Creating instancing for high-demand specific features like banks, for example, will allow players to access those zones even when crowded while keeping the rest of the world non-instanced.

Ultimately, the team is going to compensate all active players with an additional seven days of subscription time as a means of amelioration for the issues they’ve encountered. It also might help soften the blow for things like the most recent patch coming with a shiny new data rollback, which is resetting character data by 15 minutes. Not enough to end the world, but you still notice it; it’s the growing pains of a newly launched game.

Update: Patch notes for today’s update are now live!

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Albion Online is so popular it had to add emergency teleporters to its main hub

People are playing Albion Online, which is a good thing for the game. However, it’s less good when Caerleon has more than a thousand people trying to get in it, since that’s the point at which no one can get into the city. Since all of the zones around the city are full PvP and all of the Outland portal zones are also full PvP, it’s not exactly a safe situation for players when the city is suddenly unavailable. But the issue is being addressed with teleporters.

Teleport stones have been added to several locations, allowing players to teleport to the Caerleon bank and back out to both the Outland zones or the adjacent regions with ease. Should issues arrive, teleporters can be easily changed without server restarts. The developers also note that this is a temporary solution, with a more permanent one planned for the next patch; until that solution is put into place, you can enjoy access to some emergency teleportation.

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Make My MMO: Valiance Online’s founder alpha has begun (July 29, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Valiance Online took everyone by surprise by announcing the launch of its investor alpha on PC for Friday, though it didn’t actually launch until today thanks to some unforeseen tech issues. “If you donated to our old website campaign or Kickstarter, you might not be in Alpha today,” Silverhelm tweeted. “We’ll be working over the weekend to get you in!” Folks who donate right now through the official site should also have immediate access.

Over in the newly launched Albion Online, developers calmly responded to criticism of its large-scale battle system, explaining the upsides and downsides of diminishing returns from zergs. (Thanks, David!)

Meanwhile, Project Gorgon promised tweaks to its Poetry Appreciation skill (<3), Saga of Lucimia demoed its Pyrography skill, OrbusVR welcomed more players to its open alpha, Shroud of the Avatar rolled out R44 and cracked down on insider trading exploits, Chronicles of Elyria posted a whopper of a roadmap, Global Adventures’ Kickstarter ends tomorrow, and Star Citizen clarified (sort of?) the number of planets it will launch with and effectively announced another 3.0 delay.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Albion Online introduces its character builder

Like any game with a surfeit of character build options, Albion Online can be a bit overwhelming at first. What are you supposed to do? How do you make a character who can survive in the wilds? Why is everyone shouting? Normally, of course, you’d have to click around community sites to find any tools for establishing a character build to know what you’re doing, but the developers decided to save you a great deal of clicking and just rolled out a character builder right on the official site.

Look, whether you play the game or not, that is an official website done right there.

The builder allows you to filter both by solo and group-focused builds, along with encouraging players to write articles and share insight with newer players on how to play builds and develop new ones. So it may still take you some time to get good at playing the game, but at least you can go in knowing what you’re trying to do with your character.

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Make My MMO: Albion Online joins the list of launched crowdfunded MMORPGs (July 22, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, indie sandbox Albion Online — whose 250,000 founders reportedly crowdfunded the game for almost $10,000,000 — formally launched. The buy-to-play isometric game has hardcore old-school flair with a potentially alienating PvP template, but it’s brought plenty of PvE content along for the ride in an attempt to woo a more diverse playerbase.

Meanwhile, Project Gorgon made progress on its 64-bit test build, OrbusVR plans to open its alpha next weekend, City of Titans released a new lore piece, Camelot Unchained showed off more of its UI, Ashes of Creation demoed arenas, Path of Exile picked a date for Fall of Oriath, and Crowfall pushed its very first trial campaigns to testers. Oh yeah, and some Star Citizen drama.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Betawatch: Dark and Light shines a light on early access (July 21, 2017)

For everything, there is a season, turn turn turn. We’ve bid farewell to Albion Online this week, as it has launched properly and thus no longer qualifies as being in beta, but we also can say hello to the early access period for Dark and Light. Seriously, that just came out of nowhere, after ages of delays. It’s kind of awesome like that. So hooray for new early access!

We also bid farewell to Gigantic as it reaches its official launch. It’s like everyone graduating from college, although in this case college is full of supposed tests that are mostly a matter of building notoriety and… huh. That analogy works surprisingly well.

More testing news? Of course, friends, of course.

Well, after all of that I’m sure everyone wants to retreat to the safety of the list of games in testing, yes? I know I do. It’s down below, and you can feel free to scroll through it and let us know if we’re missing something important in the comments.

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