faction warfare

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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Albion Online discusses the royal city revamp for its upcoming Merlyn update

The trouble with having one universal hub in Albion Online is that basically no one cares about the five other hubs in the game. That’s what the game’s next content update, Merlyn, is partly meant to address. While Caerleon will not be changed, each of the other five royal cities will be getting bonuses to refining certain types of goods and item production. Thus, players will be inspired to seek out the other cities with Caerleon as a fallback, rather than just chilling forever in Caerleon.

“But what about PvP?” The developers are glad you asked that because that segues nicely into having five sides of faction warfare running. Each of the cities represents a different faction, and as it turns out, the factions all hate each other… which means that signing on with a faction allows you to fight people from the other faction anywhere. But signing on to a faction also gives you access to special resources. So it should give you more reason to explore and more opportunities to fight people, even in otherwise safe zones. How joyous! Remember to enjoy all of that when it comes to Steam next week on May 16th.

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Divining the details of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite from a Pokemon Go player’s perspective

When we first heard rumors about a Harry Potter version of Pokemon Go, I said I could barely imagine what the game might be like before listing several other IPs that would translate better as AR games. It’s not that I don’t like the Harry Potter series (I do) or Niantic (someone’s got to push the envelope). My issue is that I can’t see how their respective styles could combine to create something great.

So I’ve gone back to some of my pre-POGO notes about Ingress and what would need to change before it went live and, well, Niantic clearly thinks differently than I do because this game is very much happening. I thought it might be useful to consider Niantic’s past and how it may affect its upcoming game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Let’s dig in.

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EVE Evolved: Low-security space has lost its identity, but it can be fixed!

When I first discovered EVE Online back in 2004, it had been out in the wild for just under a year and was a much simpler and friendlier beast. There were fewer than 50,000 players in total and most of them were flying around in tech 1 frigates and cruisers, either mining, grinding their way up top level 3 mission agents, or PvPing. Most corporations lived in the relative safety of high-security space and warred with each other for all sorts of reasons, and some power-hungry corps tamed the lawless nullsec regions to hunt battleship NPCs and mine ores containing valuable Zydrine and Megacyte.

Low-security space offered a tempting middle-ground for players back then, a place you could go to reap better rewards than highsec but at the cost of a proportional increase in risk. Pirates faced much lower consequences for attacking another ship unprovoked there than in highsec, and the areas around stargates and stations were kept safer by automated sentry turrets. The delicate balance between risk and reward in low-security space began to fall apart as the sizes of player groups in EVE increased and ships got better at tanking the damage from sentries. Nearly a decade later and with very little done to revamp the area, today’s lowsec still suffers from this legacy and has lost much of its identity. But how can this problem be solved? Hints may come from recent rumblings at EVE Fanfest 2017 on the future direction of PvE.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the reasons I believe low-security space has lost its identity and a few of the ways CCP could inject some much-needed personality and speciality into this neglected area of the game.

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EVE Fanfest 2017: EVE Online plans amazing new PvE gameplay

Today’s EVE Online is a far cry from the empty but hopeful sandbox released back in 2003, having constantly re-invented itself for over 14 years and put together some incredibly ambitious visions for the future. Executive Producer Andie “CCP Seagull” Nordgren shared one of these visions in her Fanfest keynote speech four years ago, laying out the long-term goal of having players build their own stargates, explore deep space and colonise previously undiscovered star systems. This trajectory has brought us Citadels, Engineering Complexes, and soon Upwell Refineries, but it isn’t the only plan for evolving EVE and it may not even be the most impressive one.

Last year we heard from CCP Burger and CCP Affinity on some amazing advances that had been made in NPC AI for the powerful roaming Drifter ships, and broad plans to integrate parts of that more widely into the game, possibly even creating something CCP Burger called “PvPvE.” We got our first taste of the end result after EVE Vegas 2016 when NPC mining operations began appearing in certain star systems and mimicking the activity of real player mining ops — They had mining barges hoovering up rocks in the belts, haulers picking up the ore, and even combat ships using PvP setups and strategies modelled on real players that would chase attackers around the star system. This first iteration of the feature was impressive, but at EVE Fanfest 2017 we discovered that an even more incredible future awaits EVE players.

Read on for a breakdown of the next stage in EVE‘s PvE gameplay and an interview with CCP Seagull on how this feature will be rolled out over high-security space and beyond.

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EVE Evolved: The consequences of a free-to-play EVE

This week we heard the unexpected news that EVE Online will be going partially free-to-play when the next expansion lands in November. Like many games that have added free-to-play options over the years, EVE will be using a hybrid model that provides a limited free option in addition to its regular subscription. The game won’t change at all for subscribers and will continue to offer cosmetic microtransactions, while free players will be able to log in and play under a new set of restrictions. Free players will have access to only a handful of skills and will be able to fly tech 1 cruisers and below, and any subscribed players whose subscriptions lapse will be temporarily lowered to free player status.

The announcement of the impending business model change has seen a mixed but largely positive response online, with renewed interest from those who have been put off by the subscription. Existing players are looking forward to an influx of fresh players and getting free access to their old characters again but have warned of potential abuse cases if free users can be used for suicide ganking or farming. CCP has been engaging with the community to investigate these potential issues ahead of the expansion, and many prospective players have been asking exactly how much a free player can actually do.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into EVE Online‘s hybrid free-to-play model, look at the kinds of gameplay a free user can get involved in, and highlight a few potential abuse cases CCP will have to address before November’s update.

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Elite: Dangerous launches the Powerplay update

The latest update for Elite: Dangerous does not allow players to personally claim big chunks of the galaxy, but it does allow players to sign up with the people who do. After a little over a week in testing, the game’s Powerplay update is hitting the live servers, complete with a new trailer down below to get you all pumped for blowing up ships and mining resources for the good of your faction.

Players will have a number of different possible factions to endorse, enabling factional warfare along many potential lines; you can blow up enemy ships or just wage a careful economic campaign against your opponents. There are also various bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements, as outlined in the patch changelog. So pick your favorite faction and get ready for a whole new metagame layered on top of the existing experience.

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