One of my on-going complaints in any sandbox game with open-world PvP is that things tend to always swing in favor of the PvPers. Despite there being multiple ways to play the game, whether it be crafting, gathering, PvE, or PvP, things tend toward balancing in the PvPer’s favor.
Albion Online is/was no different. I’m really not that interested in the PvP. I want to go out into the world, gather lots of resources, farm, make things, and participate in the economy or the building side of the game. That’s how I want to experience the game. For the most part, the game accommodate someone like me doing nothing else but what I want to do. However, since most of the materials from mid to end-game are all in open-pvp areas, I would have to deal with the gankers taking my stuff.
That’s starting to change, or at least become easier for gatherers and a tiny little bit harder for PvPers.
Albion Online’s new gathering gear provides gatherers various abilities to flee from gankers, in addition to making them look cool (who wouldn’t want to look the role?), and a bonus to how much they can gather.
Now gatherers can escape during these “PvP” (predator vs. prey) encounters. Here are a few of the options:
Harvester Cap: Magic Pollen
Throw out magic pollen which will confuse all enemies around you, making them walk around randomly. Using this spell will also turn you invisible. This invisibility breaks if you receive damage or if you damage someone else.
Harvester Garb: Spirit of Vengeance
Apply a shield to yourself, which absorbs damage and lasts for several seconds. As long as the shield is active, your gathering speed is increased. If the shield gets prematurely destroyed it explodes, rooting and dealing damage to all enemies around you.
Harvest Workboots: Ethereal Path
Dash towards a target location. During the dash, you are invisible and immune to forced knockback effects. After you arrive at the targeted position, your move speed and maximum load are increased for several seconds.
See more on the official site for Albion Online gathering gear.
At the mere thought of their prey doing anything but rolling over and dying, PvPers are raging hard. PvPers do that. Most are entitled and like to pretend that PvP is the only way to play; Anyone else is just there to support their activity.
Technically, the devs really haven’t even gone far enough. There’s still very little chance a gatherer has to actually escape. This is a step in the right direction, but merely a step. Most of us gatherers are on oxen. We are 200%+ encumbered without our ox, and these abilities aren’t usable mounted. Therefore we can escape a few feet before having major issues. These also do very little to stop the pvpers from stunning us to death.
I appreciate the steps, but hope to see more taken to make gathering even more on EQUAL footing with the PvPers. I believe gatherers should have a 50/50 chance to ‘win’ (and a win means escape) a “PvP” — predator vs. prey — encounter.
Albion Online recently updated to the Galahad update about a week or so ago. As you can see from the image above, TONS of people are playing.
I last played about a year ago. Yep, I just checked and it was almost this time last year exactly that I played. I've played on and off now since about 2013... crazy to think it has been that long.
Last year I made a post about several improvements I would like to see them make to the game. Among those changes were chiefly:
I was extremely pleased to see that the Galahad update addressed at least the first and last of my big issues.
When dismounting from an Ox (or horse, etc) now places a ring around you where the weight capacity bonus of your mount still applies to you. That means I can be carrying thousands of stones on my ox and upon dismounting to harvest a tree, I won't be stuck unable to move.
Armor now makes TONS more sense. All heavy armor is plate. All light armor is cloth. All medium armor is leather. Within the tiers there are still variations, but those are now (mostly) all spell-based benefits rather than stats.
I like what they've done with armor. Wearing light armor makes you do up to 50% more damage. Wearing heavy armor reduces your damage but significantly increases your staying power because you are more tanky. It's a give-and-take system. There isn't a 'right' answer that I can see. If you go glass canon you'll blow up 1-3 people before you're dead. If you go heavy you'll last but might not blow people up.
The map of the world has also changed significantly. It's no longer laid out so that the further north you go the more PVP'ish it gets. It's a little more natural and centralized. Resources in the world are also divided by type so that deserts have skinning and ore, forests have trees and stone, etc. This makes it so that you have to travel some, and perhaps there will even be some semblance of an economy.
The Founder's Packs will soon be replaced with Starter packs. Why should you buy a Founder's Pack? Well, you get to play right away, you get premium status (bonuses to everything), and you get gold which are like EVE and WoW tokens that can be exchanged for in-game silver.
A small group of our community is dedicated to playing the game when it releases in June/July (whenever it is?) and would love to have more people join us. We are mostly devoted crafters with desire to build up our island, make cool stuff, and PvP when it makes sense. We'll join an alliance in-game at launch and have lots of fun.
If you would like to join us, feel free to comment or join us in Discord. We will get you invited and help you get started.
Our community had some great discussion on the topic of PvP tonight and I feel a little inspired to write on our conclusions. We really really, really do not like PvP designed to eff (other words were used) up other people’s experience in the game. Let me elaborate. In Albion Online the guilds that own the black zones own the best zones. Contrast that to UO where the “best” guilds (read: largest) could own areas of the map, but people can still go somewhere else and truly not be locked out entirely from something they need or want to do.
No PvP system should ever allow players to completely lock other players out of content essential to their basic gameplay or enjoyment. No PvP system should ever promote players being trolls. If people are PvPing to be trolls, and they’re being successful at it, then the game lacks the basic design elements which would negate players having control of their ability to be trolled. In UO, if I was being killed in a cave then I could go find another cave. Someone could be a troll all they want and I had the control to go somewhere else. If I kept going back then it’s my fault. But take away the options and give me only one cave and suddenly the PvP exists only to be a troll and I have no control over being trolled other than logging out. Logging out is not an acceptable gameplay feature.
PvP should exist as a wing or an extension, and never a roadblock. PvP should not cut people out of PvE or Crafting if they do not participate in PvP or belong to the big guilds who dominate PvP. I have always been a proponent of the philosophy that the best PvP games have the best PvE, and they can and should be completely separate from each other. For example, Dark Age of Camelot. When done right — and not ruined by imbalance — they can even influence each other, but rarely intersect.
One of my continuing complaints about Albion Online is that I can never be the best crafter — ever — if I am not in the biggest guilds. By not being in the biggest guild, I will be destroyed by the PvP roadblock. I will never have the best resources. I will hit a wall. That wall is unacceptable.
I’m having a great time in Albion Online. Our K&G Community Guild has our own island which is built up with higher-tier crafting and refining stations. My own personal island is now level 6/6 with four full farms. We’re starting to identify the strategies we will use at launch to propel ourselves in a great direction.
The more that I play Albion Online, the more I do see the potential for issues down the road with certain mechanics and features. Other features I simply would change to make them better. I’m keeping a running list of changes and would like to share two of my most-wishes for things.
Everyone can eventually master everything. Just a few months after the launch of closed beta there are already people wearing tier 8 gear, riding the best ox, the best horse, and doing the top-end things in the game. That part is fine, but what do these people do next? They start to master the other trees, and eventually specialization is pointless.
One of Albion Online’s greatest lures for me was the idea that it would take a LONG time to master everything, thus dissuading people from being able to ‘do it all.’ I think that “long time” hasn’t panned out quite as I would have liked.
As an alternative, I’d like a hard cap implemented. Players have to choose which direction to specialize because they would have a finite amount of points. The Learning Point system could be altered such that it’s a pool of points to unlock sections of the tree, and those points would not regenerate.
Another alternative would be to lock people out of sections of the skill tree upon advancing in other areas. For example, the more skill you gain in wearing plate the less you are able to gain in crafting plate.
I’m a gatherer. Essentially all of my guildies have been gatherers for two weeks. All we do is gather materials. We’re weird like that. In UO we were gatherers too. We gather up lots of materials, then we use them to craft. Across our dozens of hours of gathering we have noticed a few annoyances with how transport oxes work.
In order to use a transport ox to lower your weight encumbrance you have to use it like a mount. However, when dismounting you can essentially be so overloaded you can’t even move. When dismounting you are also given a penalty to ability cooldowns so that when dismounting you can’t use any abilities for what feels like 20-30 seconds. This penalty makes sense for normal mounts because of PvP implications. It’s better that way. But for gathering, when dismounting and 500% encumbered unable to move, having a bear eat you sucks.
I propose a system similar to UO’s pack mules. Let the ox follow behind. The ox would be vulnerable to attack from NPCs and players. When it dies, it drops all materials like a player’s corpse. That way the player who is gathering doesn’t have to mount and dismount regularly in order to move about — an act which felt unnatural anyway to have your ox disappear into your pocket then pop out magically. Mounting up for 2 feet to jump node to node also feels unnatural.
These simple changes are just two ways in which the game could radically be altered for the better. I’m eager to see what changes make it in the next patch. The February state of the game looked like a great start.
One of my favorite features in Albion Online has to be the private guild islands. Guilds like ours are absolutely obsessed with crafting. We’ll spend 10 hours a day gathering resources and have a blast. You may recall how our guild played a recently popular UO shard and was the first to not only get a house, but the first to get a second house, and the first to pretty much GM all the crafts. We’re crazy like that.[su_youtube_advanced url=”https://youtu.be/NR3tugfDmOw” width=”700″ rel=”no” wmode=”transparent”][/su_youtube_advanced]
In Albion Online, we can have our own island away from the chaos of the open-world conflict. Don’t get me wrong, we like the open-world conflict stuff, but losing our guild buildings just doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. At least this way we can have a private island to get us started, then move to an open-world city when we feel like we’re ready — if ever.
Our island is pretty nice. In just a few days we upgraded the island enough so that everyone who is crafting has the buildings they need to craft here in on our island instead of spending their hard-earned silver back in Queensmarket/town. We plan to do the same thing when the game launches in order to take care of our crafters.
So what’s the downside of a private guild island vs. an open-world city in the red or black zones? Open-world cities have a higher return rate on resources, and they are more conveniently located near higher-tier items. The resource return rate is nice, but not a deal breaker for any of us. It’s certainly not worth having to fight other people to have fun on our own terms.
Just like our guild has done in UO and other games, we’ll be hitting the economy hard at launch. Right now we’re experimenting with all of the crafting to identify what we’re most interested in doing at launch. We’ll also have members more interested in combat, and they’ll get all of their gear from our crafters.
Farming to make all of this happen was definitely quite a lot of work. Definitely on the same level as UO, or more. But there’s nothing quite like working hard to build something of your own. One of our members said it best, “I’m just happy that I have an MMO to play again.”
If you have any questions, I’m happy to help answer them. If you’re interested in playing Albion Online, I highly recommend it. Any gold you spend in beta will be refunded to you at launch, and it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the best sandbox in many, many years. Join us, and we’ll be happy to teach you all we know. 🙂