Monthly Archives: October 2016

Albion Online Reaches 60,000 Founders

It’s only been two weeks since the start of Albion Online’s closed beta test, but the game has already hit the 60,000 player mark.

It’s hard to deny the popularity and hype behind Albion Online, and 60,000 founders is a fairly impressive number. To put things in perspective, that’s twice as many backers as the initial Star Citizen Kickstarter had and nearly four times Crowfall’s campaign.

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“It is an amazing feeling to reach this milestone and have so many people enjoying your fruits of labor”, said Christian Ziegert, Head of Operations at Sandbox Interactive. “We are grateful for all the support of our Founders and we will continue working closely with our community to keep improving Albion Online further.”

So far, the beta event has shattered records for number of players online, guilds, countries represented, buildings constructed, and PvP kills.

In order to gain access to the Albion Online closed beta test, players must purchase one of three different founder’s packs. These include Veteran ($29.95), Epic ($49.95), and Legendary ($99.95), and each includes various perks and in-game bonuses.

GDC 2016: Take a Look at The Tablet Version of Albion Online

Albion Online is in a closed beta right now. In GDC 2016, the developer offered a brief look at how the touch interface of Albion Online is going to work. No kidding, it’s exactly like how it works on a PC with a mouse. One major correction from this video though, Albion Online is going to be universal. The experience likely won’t be as great on the iPhone, but you will be able to play it on any device.

The followings are another three videos of what high-level Albion Online play looks like:

Open World PvP

Hellgates PvP

GvG

ALBION ONLINE’S MISSIONS ARE LIKE QUESTS, BUT NOT EXACTLY

Top-down PvP sandbox Albion Online has released a new video highlighting the game’s missions and factions. Lead designer Robin Henkys and technical director David Salz are your guides to Albion’s missions, which work a bit like quests in other games, according to Salz. Factional representatives may approach players and grant tasks including transportation of goods and combat/elimination missions.

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On the other hand, Salz continues, missions aren’t exactly like standard MMO quests because the open world factions have limited amounts of money that they can spend on missions. This means that players are competing with one another for those missions, and it’s possible for a given faction to run out of money if everyone chooses to work for them.

Click past the cut to learn more via the full video.

Look at Albion Online the Destiny Board

Albion’s method of progression isn’t based on levels, but rather achievements. These are handled through a system that is called the “Destiny Board,” which shows how to move to higher tiers of gear and crafts, as well as the exact path that needs to be taken to achieve the things you want. This gives a very open feel to the game, while at the same time allowing a somewhat clear-cut path (despite being vastly different from one player to another). There is really no right or wrong way to go through it – simply find what you want to work towards first, and go do it.

Current Achievement Progress

Across the bottom of the screen is the current achievement progress. Look at the screenshot below for an example.

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This makes it quick and easy to see the progress you’ve made on three separate achievements, and you can disable their tracking if there’s one you just don’t want to do. Note that it tracks based on the latest one you have added progress towards. For example, killing a creature would put the Journeyman Fighter tracker on the top of my listing. And then mining an ore would bring the Journeyman Gatherer one back to the top again. This helps further organize things by letting you see what you are actively working towards, without necessarily having to keep organizing them on your own.

If you want to take the easiest method of doing the achievements, just work on whatever is in that list at the bottom of the screen. As one is completed, another will take its place, creating a revolving door of things to do. In all actuality, you never even have to take a look at the full Destiny Board unless you want to see what is coming next, what you have already achieved and what bonuses were unlocked (or are going to be soon).

The Destiny Board Screen

Once you get into the Destiny Board, you will see a very large area with a lot of interconnected spaces. Each of these is a different achievement, with its very own requirements and rewards. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this screen, you will see the yellow spots going northbound. This is where you started out when entering the game for the first time. It isn’t until you get to the very center of the board that you can start unlocking other achievements.

image2Really, this beginning area is simply the learning phase. So while it may seem like a lot of work to get to the unlocking area, it isn’t. After just a few minutes of playing, you will already have it all ready to go and open for exploring!

Viewing Unlocked Achievements

Viewing unlocked achievements is as easy as clicking one of them that is already colored in. This will show the name of it, that it’s completed, and will also give a listing of the rewards that were unlocked as part of it. For example, in the one below, the ability to both craft and use Novice items (gear and buildings) were unlocked. The downside to this system is that you can not view what it took to unlock each achievement. So once one has been completed, you can’t look back to see what you actually did to make it happen.

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Viewing Current Achievement Status

While the listing at the bottom of the screen in normal play will show progression through some achievements, they don’t tell what you are actually working for. This can be done in the Destiny Board, by clicking on one of the achievements that have already been started. As an example, the one below tells the name, that it’s in progress, that I’m about 15% of the way finished with it, and that completing it will unlock the ability to create and use Adept’s items (mounts, buildings and accessories). Considering this is the set of gear I am currently needing to make, this is what I need to work on before doing anything else so I can get it knocked out and move forward with the ability to make other gear sets.

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Conclusion

In most games, achievements are just a form of bragging rights. They allow players to show off what they have completed, and they give a sense of accomplishment. Along with this, they also keep drawing players in, since they give a pretty big challenge. With Albion, however, the achievement system is also the method of progression. Everything in it deals with things that are done through normal game play, and they represent both necessary actions and optional ones. They allow each player to choose their own path through the game, working as fast or as slow as they please. And due to the way they work, players that want to experience all the game has to offer have no choice but to do a lot of achievements and explore game areas they might otherwise never touch. This puts Albion is a very unique space, in that it opens the doors for choices, while at the same time forcing certain gaming styles on its players. And one thing is for certain: this is a completely different way of handling progression than other games use.

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ALBION ONLINE’S ARTIFACT WEAPONS ARE COMING THIS SUMMER

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Coming this summer to an MMO near you will be mighty artifact weapons — and no, we’re not talking about Legion here. Albion Online is preparing to introduce these craftable weapons into the beta sometime this summer.

So what are artifact weapons? Sandbox Interactive explains: “These weapons will have unique abilities and can only be crafted from artifact pieces that drop in PvE. Stay tuned for more information on these items in the future.” The studio gave a sneak peek at two of these weapons, the Cursed Skull and the Black Monk Stave.

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In other Albion Online news, the team is finishing up work on another environment, the steppes. This week’s dev blog shows a few glimpses of this biome as well as an animated impala. Enjoy your peace now, majestic impala, for your season of slaughter is coming soon.

Albion Online Shakes Up Traditional Levels with Destiny Board

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Sandbox Interactive today unveils the new Destiny Board feature for their upcoming cross-platform Sandbox MMO, Albion Online. Eschewing traditional level ups, players instead earn small perks and bonuses over a period of time by performing actions based on what their character is learning. Players can learn more about the full Destiny Board and sign up for the upcoming closed beta test .

“The Destiny Board was designed to give players some direction in a world in which there are no levels,” said David Salz, Technical Director at Sandbox Interactive, “Though players are not relying on a traditional level-up system, they are still able to plan their own Destiny in the world of Albion, and become their own unique hero.”

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Via the Destiny Board, players themselves could decide how to focus the development of their character. Depending on which of the three paths players choose (Crafting, PvE, and PvP), there will be various unlockable bonuses to acquire, which will help players design and support their own play style. Missions on the Destiny Board will range from gathering a certain number of materials, taking or dealing damage, getting a certain number of kills, a certain level of fame, and other goals.

The Destiny Board is divided into three major areas:

The first consists of a number of missions and quests which will reward you with various vanity items as well as some small bonus stats. These missions are divided into 3 branches: PvP, PvE and Casual.

In the center of the Destiny Board can be found all of the items in the game. Here you can unlock both the skills to equip and wear these items as well as the ability to craft them.

In the lower part you’ll find everything relating to the buildings in Albion Online. Here you can unlock new and more powerful buildings to craft.

When objectives are completed, a reward in the form of an item or building recipe, or a permanent bonus to a character’s hit points, carry weight, armor rating, or damage when using a certain weapon is granted. This will ensure players rise swiftly up the ranks in a way which complements their individual play style. The Destiny Board is a way of providing direction to players while avoiding classification and restriction. Creating a mage with ranged weapons, or a tank with healing spells, any combination is possible in a classless system!

In addition to the full Destiny Board, which can be reached straight from the HUD, players are given a prompt for three or more current objectives at the bottom edge of the screen at login; with these reminders, you’ll be able to pick up from where you left off last time.

Albion Online is the first true cross-platform MMO, running on different devices including Windows, iOS and Android at the same time and in the same world! Albion Online will go into beta in early 2014.