sandbox interactive

The studio behind Albion Online.

Albion Online expands its launch rollout

Some MMOs have launch days, but some MMOs are not Albion Online, which is claiming a good chunk of this week to officially release this long-awaited fantasy sandbox. You see, yesterday only admitted legendary pack purchasers, while today allowed in the epic crowd and tomorrow will see veteran founders join in the fun.

This staggered release is probably helping to keep the game more stable than it might have been otherwise. There were some initial login issues, but the team reports that it (mostly) cleared those up quickly. There have been a few other problems, like missing learning points and players being able to farm gear out of their league, but for the most part it looks like things are going relatively smoothly for this launch.

Conspiracy sidebar: Did Jagex announce RuneScape’s mobile adaptation this week to take some of the wind out of the sails of Albion’s release? Your call on that one.

Anyway, check out the launch trailer and eight quick tips for starting out in this game after the break!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 127: EVE walks no more

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree recount the odd history of Walking in Stations, debate the Mordor pre-order, tackle a trio of MMO updates, talk with ARK’s soundtrack composer, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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The Stream Team: Launch day adventures in Albion Online

Today’s the day Albion Online shuffles off its beta coil! Legendary founders pack and legendary starter pack owners get a headstart that started this morning, and Massively OP’s MJ is ready to get life going for real in this sandbox world. Unfortunately, that means bashing and skinning more bunnies and other cute critters if she wants some clothing; hopefully she can move past this part fairly quickly (before she is scarred for life!) and get to more adventuring. Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. for a launch-day edition of OPTV in…

What: Albion Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 17th, 2017

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Albion Online raised almost $10M, officially launches today

If it seems as if you’ve been hearing about Albion Online for a long time, you’re not wrong. In fact, the game has delayed its testing periods multiple times for major revamps, to the chagrin of testers, but hopefully that’ll make today’s launch all the better. Yep, today the day this buy-to-play, economy-driven, indie PvP sandbox is finally here, at least if you’re in the top-tier of founders and starter pack purchasers.

“Developed by Sandbox Interactive, fantasy MMORPG Albion Online has officially arrived on PC, Mac and Linux, bringing with it a community of dedicated MMO fans. Kicking off their adventures with a clean slate after the beta server wipe, Legendary Founder and Legendary Starter Pack owners have already begun taking their first steps in the sprawling land of Albion, staking their claim on the untamed wilds and free markets therein. Epic Founders and Starters will be the next group to enter the fray, joining Albion’s servers on July 18th at 13:00 UTC, followed by Veteran Founders and Starters on July 19th at 13:00 UTC. Can’t wait to start forging out on your own adventure? Download the client and grab a Legendary Starter Pack to dive in right away!”

In an AMA over the weekend, Sandbox Interactive said it now counts 250,000 founders and almost $10,000,000 in funding.

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Massively Overthinking: Consumer protections in the MMORPG industry

Veteran Massively OP reader Miol says he’s exhausted by a recent string of stories in which MMO companies screw gamers over, one after another: ARK Survival Evolved, Albion Online, Skyforge, and now Black Desert all figure into his list, just from the last week.

“I want to ask what more can gamers do to protect themselves and everyone else as consumers than speak up? It feels exhausting to always stay vigilant and feel upset all the time, since games, as an everchanging medium, give devs so many opportunities to screw us over with every single patch or update. And the worst immediate consequence seems many times a meek apology for what they’ve done, only for them to try out something different that maybe could go over unnoticed.

“You guys have reported about this UK watchdog group ASA, who investigated No Man’s Sky, but even they dismissed the tons of complaints about false advertising. Steam did declare some changes to advertising on their platform, but I still don’t see them taken place. If even those big negative stories don’t have that much of an impact, what hope is there for all the smaller communities, spread thin globally? There was a recent wave of gamers imploring each other to not pre-order, but that ebbed away fast enough, when the next shiny pre-order advantages over other players were presented. But even so, this still can’t protect you from what may happen after the launch!

“As said by Bree many times: Merely quitting won’t help either, as the studio will never know why most of the times. But also sending feedback for nine whole days didn’t help Skyforge players to make its devs to scramble! So what else could we do? Or should we just take rotating shifts to call them out?”

We’ll take the first shift right here in Overthinking.

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Albion Online devs apologize for starter pack snafu

The Albion Online founder community has been none too pleased about Sandbox Interactive’s original decision about what non-founders would get in their starter pack when the game launches a week from today. Albion’s devs intended the starter packs to cost the same as founder packs but offer less value, but as the community flames suggest, the veteran players believed that starter pack folks were getting better stuff than they were, and that wasn’t going to fly.

Welp, you can stop griping; they hear you. In their apology letter, the Sandbox devs wrote that they “simply messed up.”

“The best answer to that seems to be that we were so deep in the echo chamber of finally getting the game out of release that we simply lost the outside perspective along the way,” a forum post from late last night says. “We have previously communicated that Starter Packs would be comparable to Founder Packs, but would have less value for money. We felt that with the 10% extra Gold, the Founder’s house and all the little other founder’s perks we had kept that promise, in particular given that the founder’s gear would no longer be available post launch. We have underestimated how much the looks of the starter mounts matter to many of you.”

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The Stream Team: Albion Online’s beta winds down

It’s been a long while since Massively OP’s MJ has explored Albion Online, and she’s eager to get back in before the beta doors close for good! Soon, the game will launch and she can play for keeps, but for now she’ll remake a character and poke a bit to show off how the game has changed. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. for a last look at beta in…

What: Albion Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

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Albion Online plans huge beta finale ahead of July 17 launch

Albion Online is finally making the transition from beta to launch this month. Sandbox Interactive has posted a timeline of events leading up to the formal July 17th release date, beginning with an invasion event this Friday, a treasure hunt on Saturday, and a castle siege event on Sunday. Following the conclusion of Sunday’s event, the beta servers will close, so these are your last funtimes before the launch.

The game’s new launcher has also rolled out as of this morning, complete with server monitoring, game news, and fast-access to bits and bobs like the forums and profiles.

Founder packs (and upgrading) will also become unavailable on July 9th. Founder pack buyers will be granted an additional 10% gold when the game launches, above and beyond previous promises. Do note that the game will not be free-to-play at launch, and presumably the launch game won’t come with the same goodies, so plan your wallet-opening accordingly.

We’ll be streaming the game later today on OPTV, so stay tuned!

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Albion Online winds down beta, prepares for launch

With 250,000 backers supporting it and a team of 50 working on it, Albion Online is just about ready for its prime time debut. In two weeks, the cross-platform sandbox MMO will launch, bringing this Kickstarter project to full fruition.

The team notes that the beta program is going to end on July 9th, which also means that the founder’s packs will be pulled from digital sales at the same time. To entice more players to buy one of these packs, which range from $30 to $100, the amount of in-game gold assigned to each bundle has been increased by 10%.

Legendary pack holders will get to jump into Albion Online’s head start on July 17th, followed by epic pack holders on the 18th, and everyone else on the 19th. Get the producer’s update from the source after the break!

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Here’s how Albion Online’s open-world raid bosses work

In anticipation of the upcoming launch of Albion Online, Sandbox Interactive has posted a fresh dev blog on the big bads of the game, known as Guardians. Pro tip, they’re guarding the world… from you. Naturally, you’re going to kill them and take their stuff. They were right about you!

“Guardians are the true protectors of Albion, brought alive by the land’s ancient and powerful magic and now tasked to protect its natural riches,” explains the studio. “These big world bosses can be found in Tier 6 resource hotspots and randomly respawn between 12 and 48 hours after being defeated. There is no way to know when a Guardian has spawned, so scout the area if you want to take one down.”

Don’t be thinking you’ll be soloing these; you’re going to need around 10 people at minimum to take them on, but if you bring too many people, you’ll scale down accordingly. It gets worse: You pretty much have a 15-minute timer before the boss enrages, and other players can interfere by attacking you. On the upside, the guardians become resource nodes when they due, “providing a whopping 2,560 Tier 6 resources.”

Good luck.

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Albion Online’s fantastic beasts and where to find them

Albion Online is riding high — in more ways than one. The fantasy sandbox is fresh off of the release of its Hector update and is rounding the bend toward its July launch. With Hector came the addition of several new mounts to offer players better and more specialized methods of transportation.

“Mounts are a great way to travel through Albion Online,” the team explained, “with each mount fulfilling a certain role in the game. Aside from the regular riding horse, armored horses and oxen, there are also several rare mounts and faction mounts, which provide an even bigger advantage to those who have managed  to obtain one.”

All players will now be granted their own mule mount during the tutorial. If that’s not enough excitement for you, you can procure giant stags, transport mammoths, spectral bonehorses, swiftclaws, rageclaws, warhorses, and nightmares while playing the game. Then again, that mule does look pretty choice.

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Albion Online’s Hector update is live today

It’s the last big update for Albion Online’s beta test, it’s named Hector, and it’s here today. You can even check out a whole trailer explaining the update just below. Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to news about Hector over the past few weeks, you probably already have a halfway decent idea of what it contains. Players can sell equipment to the Black Market to serve as worldwide drops, experience major revisions to the game’s Hellgates, and explore a largely redone and refurbished set of Outlands.

The update also brings new mounts, UI improvements, and various other improvements to ensure that Albion Online is ready for launch when the testing period ends in July. Check out the video just below for a high-speed tour of all the changes brought along with Hector, and feel free to explore the world before the last rounds of bugfixing and launch preparations are done. It’s almost time.

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