Previews

Albion Online: First thoughts

We have recently had the pleasure to test Albion Online, a Free 2 Play sandbox MMO by Sandbox Interactive that is currently in the Alpha stages of production. The game is set in a fantasy medieval word which has a very cartoon animated feel to it. The endgame looks to be very heavily based around crafting and PvP. From what has been mentioned so far players will be able to craft an item located in the game, this can be anything from a sword to a building. Now the buildings are something that adds another layer to this MMO that might just grab your attention with the ability to build towns and settlements.

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When we first loaded up the game we could see that at the moment there were limitations to what we could do but as an Alpha you come to expect this. The character creation is very basic at the moment but you can see that there are big plans for customisation for looks and races (At the moment there are no female choices except for on the avatar). When you first load into the game you are placed straight into play with nothing but a loin cloth to cover your shame, you are first tasked with the collection of resources which you can then take to the crafting area. You will be given a nice tutorial on how to create some weapons, tools and coverings for your character so that you are ready to move forward.

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The game does not include Classes or a normal run of the mill Levelling system.  Players will not be able to level up in typical style but will have access to the new Destiny Board feature which will allow players to earn small perks and bonuses over time. The Destiny Board will be divided into 3 areas.

  • The first (top tier) will have a list of missions and quests that will get you vanity items and perks (missions are based around PvP, PvE and casual).
  • The second (middle tier) has a list of all items in the game, here you will be able to unlock both the ability to equip and craft each item.
  • The third (lower tier) lists bonuses relating to buildings, allowing you to unlock new and more powerful buildings.

As well as the Destiny Board when you are crafting you will see that you can put add-ons and bonuses onto items that will aid in attack, defence, speed and spell use. As you can see this might not be the standard way to evolve a character but it does look to be a great way to make your setup unique and fit your style of gameplay and it is a fresh look of character progression.

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After finishing the tutorial I decided to venture out into the world to look around and see what it had to offer. The graphics of this game are very cartoon based but this is not a negative point, the world still has a lot of beauty to it and enables the game to be easily made cross platform without loss for lesser systems. Very quickly into my venture I learnt even the animals could kick my ass, this included wolves and boars (I am not proud to admit this) one thing to note is that when you are killed you lose all you are carrying and spawn in the closest safe area. Other players at this point can then loot your remains for all the goodies you had (from what I saw this was timed so you had a bit of time to reclaim before other players could loot you). When I was able to start surviving I managed to see one town so far and a lot of forests with some areas that look to be for sale and also have houses being built on. The town I entered was very busy will lots of stalls, a bank and some stables, this will make the normal MMORPG player feel right at at home. The game genuinely looks to have a lot to offer and is only going to improve with development. One thing to mention is the guilds. With the ability to setup and join guilds you are also able to build settlements and and towns to live in that can be part of the PvP experience and that I think is going to be a big part of this. Albion Online is set to be a strong title and we are very much looking forward to seeing how this will progress and what else it is going to have to offer.

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