albion online

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

Albion Online starts rework on Morgana’s faction

Expect to hear gamers in the future shout “MORGANA!” in frustrated anger with fists raised to the sky. This will be thanks to Albion Online taking this witchy woman and making her faction a true terror in the game.

A rework of Morgana’s faction has begun, although the team said that it has a ways to go in getting the balance of this high-end faction just right. The long and the short of it is that while monsters in the overworld have been nerfed somewhat, mobs like Morgana’s forces are going to hit a lot harder in dungeons.

“Morgana’s followers will start posing a serious threat,” the devs promised, “especially those lurking in the dungeons. Thanks to the new death mechanic, the difficulty of PvE group-play can be raised significantly. The goal is to make parties think carefully about their composition and strategy, otherwise they will face certain death. Make a mistake, no matter how small, and you will be punished for it. In short, fights will be more engaging, active and reactive.”

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s studio report (April 9, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Star Citizen published a massive studio report, complete with a brand-new video on EVA transitions for first-person combat.

Meanwhile, Sacrament posted about its Druid class and roleplaying system, Shroud of the Avatar showed off the Halls of Artifice and Valhold in its latest newsletter, and The Repopulation spinoff Fragmented announced an April arrival on Steam’s early access.

LUX joins our list this week with a new Kickstarter to fund the development of a survival sandbox MMORPG reminiscent of Don’t Starve.

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

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The making of an Albion Online boss

Have you ever wondered what goes into making a boss for an MMO? If you give it even a minute’s thought, you’ll realize that there’s a lot more to it than just making the character model 300% bigger and inflating its hit point counter.

The Albion Online team has invited you behind the scenes to see how one of the game’s most recent boss additions, Gibson, was created. The process began with a general concept and moved from there to the boss’ creation and final touches. Gibson was made to be the leader of his faction and was given a lackey, Stooge, to underscore his importance. Stooge loyally protects his boss while Gibson throws down massive rock avalanches at attacking players.

“Adding Stooge to the battle was a logical decision,” [Game Designer Michael Prietzel] noted. “It makes sense in the lore, having them together. We based them loosely on Laurel and Hardy, the clumsy Stooge and pompous Gibson!”

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s Starfarer, Dragon of Legends’ Kickstarter win (March 26, 2016)

This week in crowdfunded MMO development, Dragon of Legends’ Kickstarter ended successfully, netting over $15,000 US for the OARPG studio; Star Citizen released alpha 2.3, complete with the long-awaited and gorgeous Starfarer; and Shroud of the Avatar previewed the once-glorious kingdom of Valhold.

Meanwhile, we peeked at Grim Dawn’s modding tools, watched as Greed Monger was abandoned (again), saluted Project Gorgon’s flower arranging patch, and considered whether William Shatner should voice all the things and not just Elite: Dangerous.

Don’t forget to drop by our Q&A collection thread for Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs, who’ll be a guest on the Massively OP this week and needs at least a few thousand more questions to tackle. Then read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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Massively Overthinking: The best newbie systems in MMORPGs

One thing I’ve realized from my time in Black Desert so far is than even for a die-hard sandbox fan, the introduction is pretty overwhelming. I can see how some folks would run screaming from all the pop-up windows and blinking guides and creepy smoke monster buddy, I really can. Games have come a long way since the days of just throwing you in and having you figure it all out on your own, but in some ways I miss the personal touch of the early MMOs that had actual people serving as your tutorial.

And that observation leads us to this week’s Massively Overthinking question, provided this time by Das Tal developer Alexander Zacherl: “I’d love to ask people about the best newbie onboarding systems they have ever seen in an MMO,” he writes. “Early MMOs had full-time newbie greeters and later ones (such as Darkfall) had one-on-one mentorships. I wonder if people had any good/bad experiences with those?”

I posed these questions to the MOP writers!

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Heretics storm into Albion Online

Albion Online is beefing up its PvE game with this month’s Cador update. If you’ve been following this title for any length of time, then no doubt you’ve noticed that its patches are downright huge — and Cador is no exception.

Cador begins with the addition of the Heretic faction, which will show up in new Heretic-themed dungeons overseen by dark masters. Another big change with the update is Albion Online’s new death mechanic, which allows players who run out of health a chance to get back on their feet before dying for good. Armor has been recategorized, a fame bonus mechanic has been introduced, and over 25 new abilities have been added to the game.

Sandbox Interactive said that Cador’s progress will allow the team to focus on adding more ability choices to weapons and lays the groundwork for the upcoming PvP reputation system. Patch notes? Oh yeah, we got ’em, so pour over all of the goodness here and let us know how the game is going if you’re in the test right now!

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Albion Online dev vlog on dungeons, armor, and the swamp biome

Albion Online’s devs have broadcast a brand-new develop vlog shot inside their new studio, appropriately bedecked with faux medieval stone and stained glass.

Game Director Robin Henkys, Creative Director Jörg Friedrich and Game Designer Michael Schwahn discuss heretic dungeons, PC graphics improvements, a new boss, the armor system rework, crafter disadvantages, new spells, and the swamp biome. There’s even a little plug for the game’s novel.

The 21-minute talk is embedded below.

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Make My MMO: Elite Dangerous’ Oculus launch (March 12, 2016)

Frontier confirmed this week that Elite: Dangerous is indeed destined for the Oculus Rift; in fact, everyone who owns the game will be able to download the Oculus version at no extra cost and play it beginning March 28th, the day the Rift itself launches.

Meanwhile, we got an in-depth look at Shards Online’s skill system, Project Gorgon dropped a mega patch, and we prepare for the arrival of Sacrament on our list as it’s headed to Kickstarter next week.

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

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Albion Online’s gateway dungeons offer incredibly flexible adventures

Albion Online is merging the concept of an old-school open world dungeon with its hellgate mechanic to make adventure spaces that feel fresh and challenging.

These gateway dungeons, as they’re being called, have multiple entry points and several “pockets” containing veteran mobs and gatekeepers. Gatekeepers, when killed, will open up a portal to a special instance for you and your four buddies, in which you’ll find even tougher bosses and better loot. Of course, you may never come out again to tell the tale, but that’s the risk you take, eh?

Albion is also in the process of reworking its death mechanic — or to be more accurate, its knockdown mechanic. With this new process, when a player runs out of hit points, he or she will get knocked down and have to wait until one of three things happens: fellow players cast a resurrect, an enemy comes in for the kill, or enough hit points slowly regenerate to allow a return to the action.

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Make My MMO: Chronicles of Elyria’s $900k goal (March 5, 2016)

Indie MMO Chronicles of Elyria announced this week that it’s plotting a May Kickstarter with a $900,000 goal. The game is probably best known for its fairly original aging and death mechanics, which are tied into its business model.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen pushed alpha 2.2 live, Camelot Unchained passed its “send more programmers” stretch goal, City of Titans produced video of its “functional first pass” build, and AdventureQuest 3D joined our watch list with news of its planned October launch.

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

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Albion Online devs on next update and test populations

Albion Online Game Director Robin Henkys and Creative Director Jörg Friedrich have posted their first dev vlog. In it, they give an overview of what’s coming in the Cador update, including a death mechanics overhaul. The devs also took a moment to explain their population goals during the testing process, telling forumgoers that the test population is “very stable” in recent weeks and “more than sufficient.”

“On top of that, population numbers are not a focus for us right now. We are not doing any marketing or sales at the moment, as we want to reserve that for when we believe the game is where it should be. That’s why we are also very comfortable with some people taking a break from the game right now – in particular, with the future wipe looming in the air. You can expect our next traffic and player re-activation push to be around the time of the next wipe, which is still some time off. This will already feature the first version of our new game world, and of course tons and tons of new features, content and improvements.”

Check out the vlog below.

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Make My MMO: Grim Dawn and Descent Underground (February 27, 2016)

Grim Dawn is the toast of our Make My MMO crowdfunding column this weekend as the crowdfunded multiplayer action RPG has made it through the early access phase to official launch.

Meanwhile, The Repopulation began taking tester signups for Fragmented, Camelot Unchained announced a hard crunch ahead of beta 1, and Descent: Underground posted a major VR update and trailer.

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

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Albion Online publishes its first novel, Landfall

Does your MMO have an official novel? Well, Albion Online isn’t even out yet and it is breaking literary barriers with its first published story. Landfall: The Tales of Albion, by Peter Newman, now is available on Amazon either as a paperback or an ebook.

The novel seems to be a prologue to the game. According to the book’s description, “A new convoy is being sent, seven ships sailing for the mysterious land of Albion. Their crews and captains have many reasons to risk the journey, a mix of opportunists, adventurers, and those keen to leave behind their old lives. But the sins of the past are not so easily left behind and the lure of power and magic weaves its spell long before arrival. Before the ships have even made landfall, old rivalries simmer and, without warning, one ship turns its weapons upon another…”

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