Albion Online Game Director Robin Henkys has big plans for the game’s fourth major update, Merlyn. As he lays out in a new dev video, one of the key focuses of the update is that age-old problem in MMORPGs: How do you keep the core cities populated once players have moved on?
Sandbox Interactive plans to make the royal continent’s cities more desirable with economic bonuses – for example, refinining bonuses (different for every town, but not in alignment with the biome the city’s in) and crafting bonuses (the forest city will grant bonuses to crafting bows). Gatherers, on the other hand, will find that the areas immediately outside the cities will have more resources of some types, with less in the more distant lands, thereby encouraging trade.
Of course, there’s much more in the update; Sandbox actually considers the faction warfare changes to the be most important, and the cities factor into that too as each city will be granted a special resource and sign on mercenaries – you! – to defend their banners. It’s basically a five-sided but optional RvR system with nifty rewards (even capes) to make it worth the risk.