Albion Online‘s Closed Beta Test is currently underwayÂ and I amÂ playing once again in a world that has captivated my interest since the earliest phases of alpha. Â Albion Online is a sandbox game where everything is built by, sold by, destroyed byÂ — and all other by’s you can think of — the players. I feel overwhelmed by simply trying to explain the scope of the game,Â but I’m going to try and touch upon some of the features that I think are worth showing off.
Big OpenÂ World
The world is really quite big. It’s broken up into starting cities. The one you start at seems to be random, but you can travelÂ between them by paying for a ship to sail you. They are located in the bottom of the green safe areas as seen above. The green areas are completely safe areas where you can’t be ganked. The yellow zones are areas where players can flag themselvesÂ as hostile and attack anyone. However, if you die you do not lose your just — just durability on it. The red zones are FFA gank and be ganked, lose ALL your stuff, etc.
[su_lightbox type=”image” src=”https://www.keenandgraev.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/albion-online-zone-map.jpg” class=”pointer”][/su_lightbox]The world is crucial to the game’s economy and PvP. Players can select lots and build on them. Lots are available in cities and all over. The resources scale in tiers;Â Green areas you’ll have lower level resources and they level up as you move out.
The world feels large and separate because everything is localized. Your bank in Kingsmarket won’t be accessible in Queensmarket. If you collect 500 wood logs, spend the time refining them, and then sail away… you better be willing to go back and get those resources. This makes local economies important, local crafters important, etc. Players on one side of the map feel like they truly are a world apart — if you read this blog often you know that’s something I absolutely love.
Soooo Many Skills!Â Specialization Matters. Crafting Matters.
Simply put, thereÂ areÂ a freak-ton of skills in Albion Online. Want to use heavy armor? Wear it and you’ll earn points by simply having it on and hunting. Want to make Bows and specialize into the best bow maker out there? Then make bows. It’s all really that simple.
Specializing takes time. Earning points by doing activities related to the skills you are trying to earn generates “fame.” Chopping a tree may earn you 15 fame, but you need 10,000 fame to advance to the next tier. That’s a lot of trees. Crafting a Bronze Tier 3 Breastplate may generate like 60 Fame, but when you need 2,000 fame that’s also a lot of breastplates. Good news is that most of the stuff I’ve made — actually all of it — has sold on the marketplace (auction house).
The weapons and armor you use are entirely up to you. Mix an match magical spells with plate armor, or bows with light armor, etc. All of the armor types come with different enchantments and benefits, so it’s up to you on the type of character you want to make. I think I’m leaning toward a caster in plate.
In terms of crafting, I want to make heavy armor (so I can use it and sell it) as well as some of the bigger weapons like swords, axes, and shields. Seems like people will be using a lot of these. And since it’s like UO where you lose your stuff when you die — and it breaks pretty fast — there will always be a demand for GOOD crafted items.
Build a House, Farm, City, Shop
You guys know me and my love of claiming a place and calling it my own. In Albion Online you can purchase (lease/rent) a plot of land out in the shared open-world, or you can purchase a private island (if you purchase while a premium member (stays if you unsubscribe)), where you can place your own buildings or farm, etc.
Owning property in a major city is a nice touch. There are stalls where you can purchase existing a lumber mill or a blacksmith or any number of well-desired properties. You can set a usage fee or tax so that anyone using your station will need to pay a fee that goes right to you. That’s pretty cool. Granted, when people jack that tax up to 999% it’s a bit of a douche move.
Some Downsides and/or Hurdles
There’s still work to be done on the chat interface which is honestly pretty bad still. Having to deal with the spam is outrageous. I haven’t figured out yet how to leave the global chat where everyone is spamming non-stop.
Playing alone will be tough. Due to the amount of specialization and features available for guilds and large groups of players, Albion Online is meant to be played with friends. If you are alone, be prepared to eventually hit a slight wall.
Premium Membership & “Cash Shop”
Right now you can technically earn a premium membership in-game, but that would take like 80,000+ silver for 30 days. That’s…. steep. If you want to jump into the closed beta you can purchase one of the founders packs and get in right away. The rewards are AMAZING at the Legendary level. You’ll get an Ox and a Horse. The Ox alone — which I have yet to purchase in-game — will be able to carry lots of resources for you. I’m hoping to get one soon.
If you have any questions about the game please let me know! Albion Online is fun enough that it’ll be a go-to game for me to play in addition toÂ whatever else I’m playing. I find the farming and gathering fun enough to just go out and hoard resources.
If you want to join me in-game, check out the official website. If you end up becoming a founder send me a message ingame. You can find me somewhere near Kingsmarket gathering materials preparing to start my farming empire.
P.S. I have about 4 videos currently recorded in editing. I’ll get those up on Youtube. I also want to showcase more of my private island, crafting, pve, etc., in screenshots. Stay tuned!