Hello fellow strategists, today I want to talk about an upcoming title called Albion Online. When I first heard about this game I was intrigued because the descriptions I was hearing were quite reminiscent of Ultimate Online. So I started playing the game (There is a Winter Alpha even going on right now) and I will say that it is quite similar to UO but simplified in a few ways.
The game features a top down camera and click to move controls (like Diablo). There are no levels in the game just different tiers of quality on gear and other items. And instead of choosing a class or specializing in certain skill lines, they have a unique and simplified way of deciding what types of abilities your character has available to them.
You Are What You Wear
The games slogan is 'you are what you wear’
This is because the skills and abilities you have are derived from enchantments applied to your armor.
All armor and weapons are crafted by players, so you either have to craft your own, buy it on the auction house, or kill someone and take theirs (yes, you can do that)
So in order to decide which abilities you get from your equipment, you select the ‘spells’ tab when crafting an item
Here you can see that the spell I’ve chosen for this chest armor shows up on the right hand side of my screen, those are your active abilities, the second question mark on the bottom of the armor allows me to choose a passive ability.
Below is a picture of the next tier of the same item (T3 Cloth Chest) you can see that the Tier 3 has more spells to choose from than the Tier 2 item above.
In order to craft and/or equip the higher Tier items you must complete certain challenges such as killing a number of enemies with a certain weapon, or gathering a certain type of materials. These achievements give you progress on the “Destiny Board” giving you access to higher tier items and materials.
The Destiny Board is so ridiculously huge, I couldn’t even get half of it in one screen shot, but this will at least give you an idea of how things progress.
So clearly crafting is a big part of this game, and therefore, so is gathering. One of the things I like about this game is their inventory system. Not only are you limited by item slots but weight also plays a factor, once the weight of your items goes over 100% you begin to get slower and slower. The question becomes ‘do I want to gather as much as I can even if it means I move slower than molasses? Or do I not want to move slow like turtle, indicating to every bloodthirsty bandit out there that they can kill me and get free mats?’
Here you can see that I’m just over 100% so I’m not moving all that slow, but I’m definitely not moving as fast as I could be. Max that meter out and you’re literally stuck in place until you get rid of some items.
So I’m gonna head to the bank in town and stash those mats I gathered so I’m not moving slow.
You can also see here that I have some gear and gathering tools stashed in case I get murdered and robbed. But don’t get too comfortable knowing that you can stash some back up gear because each towns bank is totally separate, so any stuff I store here can’t be accessed in any other town and the map is HUGE.
So the primary currency in AO is Silver. Silver can be acquired by slaying monsters in camps (not wildlife) usually humanoid enemies. Here you can see that the monster I killed before fighting this one has turned into a nice pile of silver coins. Also, it’s not advised to leave them sit like that because anybody can just come and take it.
Silver can also be acquired by selling items on the auction house.
Enemies may also sometimes drop items used for crafting or enhancing items.
So as you can see here, I am gathering gemstones from a full node (11/11). In AO once a node has been gathered it regains items slowly over time so anyone coming back to this area shortly after I have left may still be able to gather gemstones, but there will only 1 or 2 out of 11 available from each node. (It’s worth noting that the same system applies to monsters in camps. The longer it’s been since they’ve been killed, the more silver you get. I’ve gotten over 300 silver from a single enemy.)
Items do degrade with use in Albion Online and if not repaired become totally useless.
Here you can see the indicator on the right hand side of the screen telling me that my cloak is damaged. The yellow color indicates that it is damaged but not completely destroyed.
On the left is the repair shop where you can fix your busted armor after destroying your enemies.
Here you see the cost of the repair, in this case it is free because my cloak is only T2. When you get into T3 items and above it begins to cost silver to repair each item, the worse the damage the more silver it will cost.
Here we see the map of the zone I’m currently in, this is the city of Journey’s End.
Journeys end is a city populated by player owned shops and crafting stations. Players can buy plots of land with silver and choose to build shops/crafting stations there for other players to use. Players using the shops/stations are charged a “Tax” set by the owner so it’s best to search around the city and see if you can find a better deal, this keeps the pricing competitive.
The Map above tells you which type of building occupies each lot, making it easy to find what you need.
Below is the World Map, this shows the player’s current position (white) roads that lead throughout the different zones, which zones are safe (no PvP), which zones have limited PvP (yellow), and which zones have open PvP (red).
The World map also shows which guilds control land in the open PvP zones, indicated by that guilds banner on the map.
The red arrow above indicates that this guild is attacking the other, attempting to take control of their land. (That arrow is actually in the game, I didn’t edit that in )
So, I didn’t actually intend to do a full blown guide to this game, I guess I just got carried away. You might be saying to yourself “Well thanks wayward but I googled this game and it doesn’t even come out until 2016, what am I supposed to do with all this useless information?”
I’m suggesting that Strats gets in on this game early. I played the alpha for a while, it’s fun, it’s simple, it’s hardcore, and it’s built for strong communities, which is exactly what we have with Strats.
I think if other people are interested we jump on board the Albion Online train early, this gives us time to recruit, strategize, and establish our presence in the game.
So those are my thoughts on Albion Online, hopefully it looks interesting to some of you and we can get a guild going for it.
Thanks for reading this stupidly long post