OK, maybe “need” is a strong word there, but I for one am happy to see what Sandbox Interactive is up to with Albion Online right about how. What it’s up to is called Lands Awakened, and it’s slated for the back half of November.
“The next major content update for Albion Online, Lands Awakened, will bring major changes, improvements, and new features to open-world gameplay in Albion,” the studio revealed today. Its goals are to “bring open-world gameplay back to Albion Online” with “varied and exciting PvE” and “spontaneous, small- and mid-size open-world PvP” as well as improved loot and rewards. And one of the ways it’s going to do that is to completely overhaul the game’s 15 sub-biomes to boost their visual diversity and uniqueness and make rampaging through them more fun. Mountain zones will still look like mountain zones, but they’ll increase in “intensity and menace” as they rise in tier. SBI also wants to shake up zone layout.
“We’ve challenged ourselves to completely rework all the open-world layouts of Albion Online, with the following two goals: Make navigation through the world more intuitive and enjoyable [and] allow players with different playstyles to use map layouts to their advantage. More specifically, these goals will be implemented in the following ways: Improving clarity of maps, reducing random cluttering elements, finding memorable themes for maps that are easy to remember and quick to read [and] adding strategic choke points via new terrain designs that feel natural within each biome.”
There’s a video, of course, with in-progress shots from the new biomes; at the end, SBI’s Robin Henkys teases more in store, including new music, PvP and PvE content, and rewards.