The original purpose of Albion Online‘s learning point system was to create a balance mechanism for players with varying amounts of time to spend in the game. All well and good, but it caused another problem insofar as players could level up to a new tier and then wind up stuck there for an extended period of time. So the new version of the system makes learning points a bonus to acquire skills faster rather than the core mechanism for skills.
Learning points now acts as a quick way to level up to the next tier of fame, while fame requirements have been increased by a large amount. The net result is that hardcore players can still grind away after spending learning points, but it’ll be much slower going, and the gap between players who can grind and those who cannot remains small. It’s an interesting revision to the system, and players will have a chance to take it for a spin during the game’s closed beta.
Albion Online is currently focusing on preparations for its upcoming closed beta, but that didn’t stop Sandbox Interactive from posting a dev blog that highlights a couple of new features.
First up are the shrines of Albion, which are basically open world crafting stations that will play an important part in enchanted gear crafting. There are different shrines for offensive, defensive, and support items, and the size of a shrine affects the maximum level of craftable items.
The second feature highlighted in the dev blog is treasure chests. Chests are placed all around Albion’s world and feature a cooldown once opened. “The bigger the trease, the more dangerous it will be to get to,” SBI says.
It may be true that interest in playing and developing mobile games has peaked, although personally I very much like mobile gaming. On the flip side is the fact that studios like NCsoft and Nexon are investing heavily in mobile development, and games like Forsaken World Mobile are giving us hope that online RPGs are still seeking to break into the market.
Mobile gaming is so dang convenient, especially when I find myself away from a computer with a few minutes of nothing else to do. Waiting for my kids to get out of school? Spending quality time in the bathroom? Curled up in bed before sleep? All prime mobile gaming time.
It’s been a deep desire of mine, then, to see a crop of good mobile MMOs spring up. While there certainly have been some, including the highly lauded Order & Chaos and all of Spacetime Studio’s library, nothing has given me the same taste and pop that I get from a computer. Fortunately for me and other mobile gaming lovers, there are many up-and-coming titles in the MMO genre to watch. Will one of these be the game of our dreams? Let’s take a look at the lineup and see if there’s some promise here.
It’s time for the first Guild Wars 2 expansion beta weekend! Technically, it’s a public weekend, but the only parts of the public that can actually get involved are those players who purchased the expansion, which is a bit on the closed side. Still, at least players can rest assured that the expansion will launch this year.
This week has mostly been dominated by the onslaught of news from Gamescom, but there’s still some beta testing news in the mix.
And lo, there is a longer list past the break! Check it out, see if something slipped through testing without us catching it, you know how it be.
Albion Online‘s development team isn’t just sitting back and basking in the afterglow of a successful summer alpha test. There’s a closed beta on the way, and the developers have posted a roadmap of the process from here to the beta test. Lots of new features need to be rolled out, lots of systems need adjusting, and lots of gameplay will be expanded and improved.
The gear curve has been noted as being far too harsh, while the combat system needs significant polish and rework to make every intended portion of the game’s systems function properly. Learning points and GvG will also be receiving extensive overhauls to make the systems feel more natural and rewarding. It means that the game which players will be trying in closed beta will be quite different from the summer test, but it also means a far better game in the long run.
Bad news for Albion Online fans who have been enjoying this summer test phase: It ends tonight. The bright side is that if you’re on the servers today, you can take part in the closing event starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT. It’s a three-way war to capture as many developers as possible, and the winners get… well, bragging rights, mostly. You don’t get to bring a developer home with you; owning a developer is a big responsibility.
All players taking part in the event will be divided up between three alliances randomly. Each alliance has a castle, each castle has a developer, and each player will be coordinating with the rest of the alliance to storm the castles and capture as many developers as possible within a three-hour period. It’s as fine a way to cap off an alpha test as any we’ve heard.
Albion’s summer alpha is going swimmingly, according to an update posted today on the fantasy sandbox’s website. So far, 15,400 players from 145 countries have taken part, and they’ve racked up 12,387 PvP kills and built 28,892 buildings.
Sandbox Interactive also released a new content patch today which opened up the Deadlands area, which features both PvP and rare T7 and T8 resources as well as 20 new territories ripe for guild claims. The Deadlands area also includes dungeons, one of which features a 10-person boss fight against the “ferocious Demon Prince” of Albion’s Morgana faction.
I love a good customer service story, because it reminds me that a lot goes right behind-the-scenes at MMOs that’s hardly ever reported. Braxwolf
recently related a heart-warming account of how his son accidentally deleted a pet in Marvel Heroes
and Braxwolf’s subsequent encounter with the game’s CS team.
I’ll let you read the entire saga for yourself, but here’s a spoiler as to how it ends: “What I received was reinforcement that Gazillion values us, knows that we are people who sometimes make mistakes, and goes out of their way to help us out when we’re stuck. They also enabled me to look like a hero in my son’s eyes for a few minutes, which was worth even more.”
In this week’s roundup of notable MMO posts from the blogosphere, we have a critical case of Final Fantasy XIV stoic nodding, helpful Trove tips, and a love-hate relationship with dungeon tanking.
After just a week and a half of Albion Online’s summer alpha test, players are stacking up an impressive pile of videos showing off the isometric sandbox in a variety of formats. Many of the videos showcase the title’s PvP conflict, from large epic battles to smaller scuffles, including those in sinister hell dungeons.
You can check out the array of Albion Online player videos after the break! Be aware that, due to the confluence of MMO players and PvP situations, that the language present might not be completely sanitary.
I freely admit that I never actually played Glitch, but I was glad it existed and sad at the people who never even had the chance to play it. So it does my heart good to see that Eleven is rallying on full steam ahead to produce a playable version of the game for everyone. You guys keep doing your thing.
Meanwhile, there were no other beta things happening, and by “no other beta things” I mean “several other beta things.”
We also have a full list of games past the break, and of course, we’d love to know if there’s a game on that list which shouldn’t be or one that jumped statuses without telling us. Games are sneaky, sneaky things.
Albion’s summer alpha is officially a thing, if you’re a legendary founder, that is. Sandbox Interactive updated its website with a post that highlights the new stuff, including hellgate dungeons and 5-on-5 PvP battles, new missions and factions, new resources, and three new landscapes (the Grasslands, the Redwoods, and the Deadlands).
If you haven’t purchased a founder’s pack yet, SI says that you can still do so and that you’ll be able to start playing immediately after your purchase.
Sick of being penned into certain roles and linear progression in MMOs? Albion Online invites you to experience a game where player freedom and choice is king.
In a new introduction video, the Sandbox Interactive team attempts to explain how Albion Online is separate from modern MMO contemporaries by returning to past design ideas for inspiration. The devs talk about how the world invites players to forge their own path and how the player economy is one of the most important aspects of the game.
The video is a good high-level overview of this upcoming fantasy sandbox, so fast-forward through the live-action prologue and then settle in for passionate explanations and exaggerated dev hand gestures. It’s all waiting for you after the break!
The next time that someone tells you to “Go to hell!” you can respond, “Thank you, I will — in Albion Online.”
The upcoming sandbox shone a spotlight on its hellgate system this week as a counter-measure to the habit of zerging in such games. To encourage players to form smaller groups, the devs have limited entry into these small hell dungeons to five players who find and kill a Gatekeeper on the world map.
Inside the dungeon, players will face off against demons and a big boss in the hopes of obtaining valuable crafting mats. It won’t be safe by any measure, as the devs will also occasionally direct a second group to enter the same instance for a surprise PvP encounter.
You can watch the feature highlight video of Albion’s hellgates after the jump!