albion online

Official Site: Albion Online
Studio: Sandbox Interactive
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Fantasy PvP Sandbox
Business Model: N/A
Platform: PC

Happy birthday, Albion Online – you launched one year ago today

Can you believe it’s been a whole year since hardcore sandbox Albion Online officially launched? I cannot, but that might be because its separate Steam launch wasn’t that long ago. Sandbox Interactive has a recap of its first year up on the game’s official site today, and yes, it does mention the obnoxious DDOS attacks that took the game large out of commission last summer for what seemed like weeks as the hackers tried to blackmail the devs. That frustrating period was followed by several updates, as you’ll recall, including Joseph (PvP and PvE content), Kay (GvG content and the map overhaul), and Merlyn on the way. The devs pepper the commentary with major guild political movement too for those of you who love your popcorn and drama.

To celebrate, Sandbox has a raffle going for some pretty decent packs, so go check that out if you’re curious. The company has also begun a new round of referral rewards, which is definitely going to be the easiest way to get to ride around on a bighorn ram.

Happy birthday, Albion – here’s to many more.

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Make My MMO: Aria’s second closed beta, Star Citizen’s protest, and Crowfall’s engine on the market (July 15, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, we got our first hints of “emergent gameplay” in Star Citizen as a group of players took over a refueling hub and began blasting everyone who came near it out of the sky. Why? Oh, they’re not just griefers; they’re specifically protesting CIG’s backburnering of the Arena Commander mechanics. I suppose it got them some attention, but also now all the people whose alpha ships they blew up hate them rather than CIG.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria launched its second closed beta, Pantheon unveiled its character creation system, Saga of Lucimia riled everybody up over its grouping stance, City of Titans posted an epic teaser, Shroud of the Avatar opened a new cash shop to fund the next season and began optional subs, and Fractured’s Kickstarter has leaped up to $88K of its $116K goal with 10 days to go.

Finally, Crowfall had a big week, as its studio, ArtCraft, announced a second studio to license Crowfall’s engine to other companies building MMOs; we chatted with the company’s J. Todd Coleman about it too. There’s a huge chunk of new guide videos out on the game now too.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Albion Online brings faction warfare with the Merlyn update on July 31

Everyone does not get along in Albion Online. It’s not a game about everyone holding hands and being great friends. But when the Merlyn update arrives on July 31st, players will have a new reason to not be friends and to actually try to smash one another in the face with a big hammer. See, the patch is bringing factional warfare, which expands the reasons for smacking someone around from “you took my harvesting node” to “our colors don’t mix and you took my harvesting node.”

The update is also bringing along outposts, trade caravans, faction rewards, and resource redistribution across the world. All of it should give players even more reason to poke at one another in a fight over resources, as well as plenty of exciting new opportunities to do so. In other words, get ready for things to be much more contentious when July 31st rolls around.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained’s crash rate is coming down (July 7, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, the Kickstarter MMO crowd held its breath to find out whether or not Camelot Unchained would indeed make its July 4th beta test date as planned. Thanks to an annoying crash bug, it didn’t, but the studio is crunching to sort it out and isn’t anticipating more than a few weeks of delay, which isn’t going to seem like much to people who have already been waiting years.

“Still going through the logs. We’ve eliminated a lot of the crashes. Andrew’s working on another fix that should help things as well,” CSE’s Mark Jacobs told backers last night. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to talk about [the date] on Monday. […] Still no long-term change, no short-term change, no change whatsoever in what our original estimate was. We’re getting really close.” He reiterates that the crash rate has gone down, but they really need human testers testing, so get in there if you can.

Meanwhile, Richard Garriott rebutted claims that Shroud of the Avatar is a flop, some troll faked a former Star Citizen developer’s Glassdoor review of the studio, Temtem fully funded, and Fractured has passed 500 backers and half of its Kickstarter goal.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Albion Online’s new dev video talks faction warfare

If faction warfare is your thing, then here’s an Albion Online dev talk video you might want to watch. In this video, Game Director Robin Henkys covers the basics, from describing faction warfare to explaining how you join a faction and detailing rewards for participation. As we’ve previously covered, the new system coming in the Merlyn update is a way for players to participate in PvP in battles between cities without being crushed by the reputation system that governs other parts of the world. In fact, it’s even possible to take part in the faction system and gather points for your side even through PvE-focused activities.

Faction Warfare allows players to participate in the conflict between rival cities on Albion’s Royal Continent, and offers guilds, as well as solo and guildless players, the opportunity for open-world PVP on the Royal Continent. Along with incentives like Faction Standing and new Faction-based Killboards, this system will also introduce new resources, items, and mounts that can be used by players of all levels:
City Heart Fragments: These shards can be used in resource refining to reduce the amount of raw resources needed, or used as a crafting ingredient in various faction items
Faction Capes: The first of a completely new line of cape slot items to enhance combat builds
Faction Mounts: A new set of baby animals that can be raised into mounts with unique stats

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Make My MMO: SOTA sees layoffs, Crowfall sees delay, Star Citizen sees shade, and Camelot Unchained sees beta on the horizon (June 23, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained is in the home stretch before open beta. Yes, really, open beta. This is happening, people! Clear your 4th of July!

As for live Kickstarters, TemTem is up to $320K and counting, far past its original goal with still a week left to go. Most recently, donors unlocked Nintendo Switch play and the replay system. Clubs (guilds) are set to unlock at $400K. And yes, the game is now registered on Steam.

The Flower of Knighthood, on the other hand, abandoned its Kickstarter in its final hours, seeing it would not complete. The devs haven’t commented on their next move just yet.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar was hit with layoffs, EVE Online got its revenge on Star CitizenChronicles of Elyria posted lore, Albion Online rolled out a small update, and Crowfall admitted it’s delaying soft launch into 2019 but showed off its procedural world generation. Finally, Fractured prepped for Kickstarter – get ready to see that name a lot in this column!

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Albion Online has big balance changes planned for the next season of GvG

Sandbox Interactive has a new dev talk video out on Albion Online’s upcoming balance overhaul, specifically for the 5v5 GvG meta, group fights, and the crowd control builds that pretty much, as SI puts it, “reign supreme” in that game mode. Nature builds are definitely due for a nerf, while a number of weapons (bows and staves in particular) are getting buffs.

Buzz on the official forums and Reddit is relatively tempered, though there are definitely some folks annoyed with their perception that Sandbox is fixing only the most glaring problems with the metagame and not focusing on weapon balance overall.

Meanwhile, the devs have updated their doc on the upcoming third season of GvG play, which technically begins on June 23rd, though functionally the killing doesn’t start until the 26th. Have fun!

The whole dev talk is down below.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s alpha 3.2 goes to the Evocati on the PTU, TemTem has already tripled its Kickstarter ask (June 9, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen continued inching its way toward alpha 3.2, as the latest build has hit the PTU for the early “Evocati” player testers. It’s got a few waves to go before it’s released to all backers, but that’s OK: People are leaking stuff all over Reddit anyway if you’re dying to be spoilered.

As for live Kickstarters, TemTem has nearly tripled its goal as I type this, reaching yet another stretch goal – mounts – with Nintendo Switch support on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Dual Universe dropped a new trailer ahead of E3, Ever, Jane updated with butlers, Camelot Unchained says its still just barely on track for beta next month, Project Gorgon whipped up a bugfix update, Wild Mage successfully completed its Kickstarter and promised multiplayer, Albion Online got a small patch to Lancelot, and Elite Dangerous fans are busy at this weekend’s Lavecon 2018. (Thanks, Colin!)

Finally, Ashes of Creation dropped this teaser in its last press release: “We’ve got some very exciting business developments in the works, and while it’s not yet 100% official, we can’t wait to share with you the news. Make of that what you will, but don’t worry – we promise it’s good news for our fans all over the globe.”

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Make My MMO: Pokemon-inspired ‘creature-collection adventure’ MMO Temtem is about to fund Kickstarter (June 2, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Temtem, “the massively multiplayer creature-collection adventure” that hit Kickstarter this week, is looking like a win, as it’s secured most of its $70,000 goal in just its first few days and will soon be on to stretch goals. It’s clearly inspired by Pokemon, with adorable graphics and critters, breeding system, housing, character customization, story campaign, and yes, a co-op online world to romp in. (With thanks to Jose on this one!)

“The days of traveling solo are over; in Temtem the world is a massively multiplayer one. Tamers from around the world can join and you will be able to see them around you, living the adventure with you and fighting to become the best Temtem tamer. Chill with strangers, make new friends and battle them or trade your goodies; the dynamic online world is full of possibilities.”

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Here’s how Albion Online is revamping the royal cities, crafting, and faction warfare in Merlyn

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.

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Make My MMO: Albion Online hits Steam, Camelot Unchained tackles crafting (May 19, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, buy-to-play sandbox Albion Online, which launched back in 2017, formally landed on Steam, bringing its blend of PvP warfare to a totally new audience. While the game never ran a Kickstarter, it did raise close to $10,000,000 from a quarter of a million backers through website crowdfunding and preorder packages prior to its release last summer, making it one of the higher profile crowdfunded MMORPGs to actually make it to launch and keep on producing content.

In Camelot Unchained – you’re still keeping an eye on the upcoming beta one, right? – the devs are busy sending early backers into the test server this weekend to break things. Among the bits and bobs CSE is working on? The crafting system, a major environment bug, character creation rendering, new ambient music, scenario maps, trait icons, animations, and “a new template for the home islands.”

Meanwhile, the Pantheon team sat down for a stream and revealed the first of its three classes, Ship of Heroes posted gobs of new screenshots to its Instagram, Elite Dangerous proposed making its factional combat mode entirely open PvP, and Legends of Aria patched in some good stuff, including the first iteration of secure trading.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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MMORPG sandbox Albion Online has officially launched on Steam with big discounts

If it seems as if we’ve been covering Albion Online for a long time, that’s because it’s true. In fact, the game officially launched almost a year ago – you’ll recall it as the PvP sandbox that survived exortiony DDOS attacks, slammed servers, and a round of layoffs. One thing it didn’t do? Port to Steam. But we can’t say that anymore, as the title has officially landed on Steam as of today, complete with achievements and a big fame boost for the next week.

Do note that this is a buy-to-play title, though its $30 basegame pricetag has been cut down to under $20 as part of the launch festivities. Naturally, there are bigger bundles for fatter wallets too as well as a sale of all the game’s packs and upgrades. Referring a buddy? The new season of rewards for that has also just kicked off.

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Make My MMO: Greed Monger’s Jason Appleton is launching a cryptocurrency TV show as donors still await refunds (May 12, 2018)

Here’s a bizarre one for you: Greed Monger’s Jason Appleton is now being billed as a “crypto YouTuber” ahead of the launch of his 13-episode television series funded entirely by bitcoin – it’s called the Crypto Crow Show.

Greed Monger is probably the most famous MMORPG Kickstarter failure to date, having raised over $100,000 back in 2012 to build what the developers said would be a “crafting-focused sandbox MMORPG.” By 2015, the project imploded as devs abandoned it over a lack of funding, generating scam accusations from angry backers. Subsequent attempts to revive the game failed. Appleton resurfaced earlier this year, promising to reimburse Kickstarter backers with his newfound fortune, though a quick glance through the Kickstarter’s comments shows that currently there are still backers who haven’t received theirs, and Appleton has apparently closed down applications for refunds and is bashing donors still asking for their money back.

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