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 details the Artifact system

When Albion Online‘s final beta kicks off on August 1st, players are going to deal with Artifacts. They’re the most powerful items in the game, the sort of equipment that people tell stories about, and they’re explained in depth in a video just below. Each Artifact comes with important stats and spells embedded therein, making them major increases to the power of any character in the game. But you won’t find them by simply wandering the world and smacking things… at least, not only by doing that.

Artifacts are crafted using pieces of weapons and armor that have a great deal of power associated with them, so it’s not a matter of just killing a boar and looting a sword from it. The video explains that you’ll instead find a blade, which you can then bring back to a crafter, who can in turn make the blade into an Artifact. The final test will have 18 available Artifacts, but the plan for the launch game is to include 81 of these powerful items. Check out the full video for more details on the system.

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Perfect Ten: The most exciting MMO developments yet to come in 2016

In the annals of MMORPG history, 2016 might well go down as a very odd duck of a year. While on the surface it might not seem like there is a lot happening with big-name IPs, we’ve already seen an avalanche of activity in regard to MMO crowdfunding, early access, launches, expansions, business model shifts, virtual reality, platform releases, and so on.

And the year isn’t over yet! MMO fans have quite a bit to look forward to before 2016 closes out. As studios have released information about their short-term plans, we’ve started to get a better picture of what to expect in the coming months.

So join us as we go through the top 10 most exciting MMO developments yet to come in 2016!

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Make My MMO: People are actually buying Richard Garriott’s blood (July 9, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long shocked gamers by auctioning off art pieces that include their own blood, which was drawn on a promotional stream earlier this week. The reliquaries are no longer on eBay as originally reported; instead, they have been moved to Portalarium’s Make a Difference Store, which will ensure part of the proceeds of the sales will go to a charity. Three have already sold (and the prices have increased accordingly).

Meanwhile, Star Citizen revealed the Bengal Carrier, Chronicles of Elyria teased its delayed new site and store, and City of Titans kicked off a Patreon to support an in-universe comic for the game.

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 walks through the mechanics of the Reputation system

The developers of Albion Online want you to murder the heck out of your fellow players, but they also want to make sure that you’re not exactly rewarded for your decision to murder people for no reason. The game’s reputation system is a compromise between the two extremes. If you gather resources, live as a lawful citizen, and defend others, you can look forward to being well-liked by the Royal Expeditionary Forces. If you stab everyone you can see in town, on the other hand… well, for starters, you’re soon not going to be allowed in town.

Nine reputation ranks are available for players, with the more disreputable criminal ranks eventually barring you from access to all but the least-policed areas. You can, however, steal items from other players. That’s not counting the lawless areas of the game, where even upstanding citizens can wander around executing whomever they want. Check out the full rundown of the system, or check out the video explaining the system just below.

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Albion Online overhauls several systems for its final beta

Is everyone super-excited about Albion Online’s final beta test coming next month? Not only is there something magical about the word “final” in game development, but the fact is that this beta will come stocked with new and reworked features as well.

One of those revamped concepts is the new destiny board. The devs said that players should find this new version of the character build screen most welcome: “The destiny board is undergoing several changes, making it easier to unlock items while still requiring time and effort to become a powerful specialist. Gatherers and refiners will also have more options to specialize at the tier of their choice.”

With the August 1st patch, players will also see immensely powerful artifact weapons, the ability to change up spells on the go, and a revamped enchantment system.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained’s newsletter, SOTA’s $9M funding (July 2, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Camelot Unchained released its latest newsletter (at just under 8000 words, if you were curious – it’s tradition now to always count). The team recaps the addition of four new programmers, plans for its satellite studio in Seattle, and progress on the ability system refactoring and reward tier gifting system. There’s a farewell from former community manager, Jenesee Grey, as well as a look at at combat system, art team, engine threading, and lore. CSE also promises to begin full state-of-the-game letters from Mark Jacobs beginning in July.

Meanwhile, Valiance Online teased its new UI Das Tal pulled down its test server in prep for the pre-test ahead of its summer alpha, Fragmented added a The Repopulation mob and tweaked structure placement, Crowfall announced its EU publisher, Star Citizen demoed a bit more of its female avatar, and Shroud of the Avatar pushed out its 31st major release and broke $9,000,000 in crowdfunding raised.

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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Betawatch: Riders of Icarus moves into head start (July 1, 2016)

Riders of Icarus has not launched yet; it’s in head start. Yes, head start before open beta, rather than before, like, launch or something. If you think about the terminology too long, you’ll just start getting a headache. Just know that founders are currently playing the game as much as they want, while those who did not buy in to a founder’s pack are going to have to wait until July 6th.

It was a quiet beta week, but there’s still some points of interest to cover just the same:

We know, you’re eager to look below the cut for a list. And it’s there, just like always, filled with games that are still in some stage of testing. Let us know in the comments if something suddenly has a cash shop with no plans for a wipe while still calling itself a beta or is perpetuating similar shadiness.

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Perfect Ten: MMO novel tie-ins

When I was a kid and only slightly more nerdy than I am today, I used to read movie novelizations like crazy. I don’t know why, exactly, especially since I could have just watched the films themselves. I guess it was part of getting swept up with the transmedia hype of a good movie. I probably wore out my copy of Return of the Jedi because I loved that entry so much.

While movie novelizations have all but died out completely, tie-in novels are still going strong in other sectors — such as with MMORPGs. Believe it or not, several online games have spawned numerous book spin-offs, some from very popular authors.

Today we’re going to look at this interesting byproduct of MMORPGs for those of us who are both gamers and readers. Maybe even those of us who read the quest text!

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Albion Online prepares for its final beta test phase

The end of the world is just the beginning, at least according to several movie poster taglines that we’ve read. And as the sun sets on Albion Online’s current beta, it prepares for one last, grand beta test for later this summer.

This final beta will kick off on August 1st and run between two to three months. The team has a lot of new toys to deliver to its eager playerbase, including new worlds (Royal Islands and the Outlands), new biomes (swamps, steppes, and mountains), an overhauled guild vs. guild system, the crime and reputation system, a reworked item system, and randomly spawning resources.

Before that can happen, however, Albion will be wrapping up its current test phase. This beta is scheduled to shut down on July 17th, after which the servers will be wiped in preparation for the final beta.

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Make My MMO: 3001SQ’s Kickstarter, Gorgon’s patch, and Elyria’s update (June 25, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Chronicles of Elyria team discussed its plans for the online shop (it’ll be ready in a few more weeks and allow folks a whole month to purchase packages identical to its original Kickstarter offerings), its design bible (expect notes on the game’s bloodlines and religions soon), and other bits and bobs of production.

Online multiplayer space colonization game 3001SQ also began a two-month Kickstarter, asking just over $95,000 to fund its commercial prototype. A public tech demo is already available.

Meanwhile,

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 reveals guild vs. guild content rework

Albion Online is in the middle of a big revamp ahead of its beta later this summer — new weapons, new maps, new biomes. Today, Sandbox Interactive adds a retooled guild vs. guild system to that list — that’d be guild battles, 5v5 fights that allow groups to “fight and conquer territory around the world.”

The new system will include guild safe havens, watch towers, regional timers, retaliation attacks, counter attacks, declarations of war, siege camps, defender bonuses, and an improved GvG UI, all designed to make the mechanics less “flat.”

The studio expounds on how it all works in a new dev video below.

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Albion Online previews the resources and environment of the steppes

Do you need to grab some hide in Albion Online? Then you should probably head out to the steppes, a biome with a new preview on the game’s official site. The steppes are filled with hide-bearing animals, from the few scraps you can pry from the marmots to the resilient hide of a truly ancient mammoth at the highest tiers. And the best part is that the steppes are completely safe! By which we of course mean that there’s danger aplenty as you move from the safest (green) part of the biome into the most dangerous (dead) portion.

Aside from dealing with residents like the snarling cougars and the omnipresent Heretic faction, players will also be dealing with the Morgana faction in the more dangerous regions of the steppes. There’s also some fiber to be found in the area, although ore is in short supply. Check out the full preview if you’re ready to head on over and brave the dangers for a nice bid of hide.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained opens satellite studio, Edengrad funds (June 18, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, City State Entertainment stunned pretty much everyone by announcing that it will open a satellite studio on the other side of the country in Seattle, which will support a much-expanded team of programmers working on Camelot Unchained. Funding for the second studio is provided by the game’s unnamed uber-investor and matched by none other than Mark Jacobs himself.

Meanwhile,

  • The Kickstarter for post-apoc survival MMORPG Edengrad successfully funded at  £41,535 (just under $60,000 US), and Polish developer Huckleberry Games is planning early access this September;
  • Shroud of the Avatar released another excerpt of the audio book for its novelization coming later this summer;
  • Fragmented pushed out another patch, this one fixing bugs and localizing for German players;
  • ECO announced its next big patch, which is focused on the economy and is due out at the end of June;
  • the folks behind the Elite: Dangerous novelization Kickstarter explained the results of its legal battle and delay;
  • and HEX announced plans for a ladder system and tournament cleanup.

We’re also bummed to report that Vigor Roads’ Kickstarter ended this morning unsuccessfully with only $9,735 pledged toward its $25,000 goal. Developer NeuronHaze said it partly blamed itself for overconfidence and failing to prepare a game build for backers to see in time. That build is promised for late summer or autumn, the studio says, and early access is still planned for 2017.

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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