albion online

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

Make My MMO: Two canceled MMO Kickstarters and two languishing, but plushies for the win (August 18, 2018)

It’s been a weird week in MMO crowdfunding. The Codename Reality Kickstarter isn’t looking good; devs have raised under 2% of their original half a million dollar goal. Project Oasis World is over this week too, well under its goal. EverFeud‘s Kickstarter has already been canceled, as that studio says it’ll hunt for other options. As for Endless Trials, that Kickstarter has also ended abruptly; team Fire Hurts says it’ll try a fresh campaign with a video at some point in the future.

AdventureQuest 3D, however, has already seen outrageous success with its Kickstarter for… plushies. For real. As I type this, the game is four times over its goal. Plushies are happening.

Meanwhile, Pathfinder still isn’t dead, Elite Dangerous’ next big thing will launch at the end of August, SOTA is hard at work on player-created dungeons, Dual Universe updated its roadmap, Camelot Unchained is working on its 64-bit client, Ashes of Creation showed off its alpha combat, and a judge is permitting most of the Crytek Star Citizen lawsuit to continue.

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 makes trade mission bundles much heavier

A little change can make a big difference in terms of balance. It’s what Albion Online did with its latest patch; all that’s really been changed is that trade mission packages have had their weight increased by around 400 kg. The thing is that a heavier package means using different pack animals to transport it, which in turn means not being able to rely upon using mounts with more survivability… and, in turn, it means that these trade missions become a lot riskier. See? Balance from a little change!

The patch also contains some other balance tweaks for faction leaders, as well as updating the marketplace UI with several quality-of-life features and fixing several bugs along the way. But the biggest change for the patch is, well, a little change that should make things harder for a lot of players who will rely on more vulnerable mounts now, which encourages more back-and-forth warfare, which is exactly the point.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 181: Some devs just want to watch the world tree burn

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through the ashes of World of Warcraft’s burning developments, make sense of Chris Roberts’ “You win by having fun!” mantra, get cozy with werewolves and tieflings, 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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Make My MMO: Star Citizen, Camelot, Codename Reality, and EverFeud (August 5, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen did some just Star Citizen things as fans raised a pay-to-win stink over CIG’s lifting of the cap on pre-launch currency stockpiles, meaning hardcore backers can hoard now and have (another) major advantage come launch. The drama would’ve probably blown over in a day or two but kept blazing through the weekend, as first a CIG PR statement and then Chris Roberts himself bizarrely denied the pay-to-win aspects of the game. Oh yeah, and 3.3 was delayed to coincide with CitizenCon.

Want something new to back? We got two new MMORPG Kickstarters this week: One for a self-described “massively multiplayer online persistent entity game” called Codename Reality, which seeks $583,918 wants to “revolutionize the MMO genre,” while the other, at $105,000, is for a PvP MOBA/MMO hybrid called EverFeud. Both join our list today.

Good news on the Camelot Unchained front: Beta one did indeed launch as planned this week, and thought it won’t look considerably different to existing testers, it’s a major milestone for the Kickstarted RvR MMORPG. Meanwhile, Razer launched a super quiet Kickstarter for left-handed gaming mice, Zeal announced it’ll kick off a Kickstarter in SeptemberAlbion Online launched its Merlyn update, and the Diablo history book Kickstarter pulled through to successfully fund in the end (phew!).

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 shift away from mobile was a matter of market forces

If you remember a lot of the early marketing for Albion Online, it focused quite heavily on how the game was going to feature cross-platform play for PC and mobile devices. The game has launched at this point, but the mobile versions are still in testing. A recent interview with CTO David Salz reveals that it’s hardly something the developers forgot; it’s simply that when the game was first planned, it seemed that mobile was the wave of the future. As the game acquired fans, it became clear that PC was the preferred platform for most of the would-be players, which caused a shift in design to emphasize desktops over mobile devices.

Salz also talks about the shifts in business models and the technical hurdles involved in building the game from the ground up, starting with a prototype that was built to see if the game could even be made fun or if the project was doomed from the start. Check out the full interview for a peek at the industry history as well as the technical roadblocks that hit the game over time.

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Albion Online’s Merlyn update is live with faction warfare and crafter tweak – here’s the new trailer!

Albion Online’s enriched its sandbox self with another big update today, this one the long-awaited Merlyn patch. As we’ve been covering, the most interesting bit for existing players is surely the complete overhaul and implementation of the faction system in the sandbox, which allows players to fight for one of five city-based factions for loot and fame. Crafters and traders will further find a revamp of the gathering and refining systems, the market, resource locations, and trade caravans.

“In this new update, players will find a plethora of new features, like Faction Warfare, new open-world PvP opportunities, new and unique rewards for faction-based activities, refining and crafting bonuses, a redistribution of resources, a vastly improved user interface for the Marketplace, a new dungeon, and numerous additional improvements. On top of that, a 25% Fame boost applies to all activities until Monday, August 6.”

Trailer down below!

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Albion Online teases bosses and promises a fame boost for next week’s Merlyn deployment

Merlyn is landing in Albion Online next week, bringing a big overhaul to the game’s factions – including new factional bosses for each key city and biome. Sandbox Interactive’s latest video previews five of them, and you don’t really even need voiceover to explain that each of them is a bit different; for example, the Thetford boss is clearly a fireball-flinging wizard, while Lymhurst’s champion was Legolas in another life.

Sandbox has also posted up a huge guide to crafting in the game, covering novice unlocks, item study, foci, and quality.

Finally, with next week’s launch, players will be enjoying a big boost to Fame. “To kickoff the Merlyn update in style, and since we know how much you love that Fame, next week from [July 31st to August 6th] all players will get 25% more Fame for all activities in the world of Albion – gathering, crafting, killing mobs, and everything else,” says the studio.

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MMORPG sandbox Fractured’s Kickstarter has just fully funded at over $130,000

Phew! A few weeks ago, I was not confident that Fractured’s Kickstarter was going to make it, but it cleared its goal with just a few days to go, and now the Kickstarter has ended, having successfully funded at over $130,000 US (well past its $116,817 goal) with 1050 backers.

The SpatialOS game caught our attention when it surfaced a year ago thanks to its anti-grind sentiment, its focus on opt-in PvP, its detailed lore, and of course, its Star Wars Galaxies-esque player city systems. Fractured’s isometric view might make it look more like Albion Online, a game with which it will likely be competing, but its lack of forced PvP will hopefully endear it to a wider playerbase.

“Funding of Fractured will continue on our website, fracturedmmo.com, once the Kickstarter campaign is over,” Dynamight Studios says. “You’ll be able to buy a pledge pack or upgrade to a higher one (if available) once Kickstarter pledges have been integrated with Fractured accounts.” Note that it’ll include funding for future stretch goals too, so things like the Labyrinth levels, enhanced character creation, and animal taming aren’t entirely out of the question.

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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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