The initial feel was so-so. I played AO without any prior knowledge of the game. I did not spend time reading guides or reviews that spoke of how to start a fresh character, simply because I wanted to do it myself and with a new player mentality. I will not lie, even a player as myself did have some difficulty becoming acclimated to the game. Being it is a free to play game; I feel the game needs to really nurture a new player for the first three to five hours of game time. This is where AO fell short but is, however, a simple fix.
I would like to see more prompts or perhaps an in game guide that helps direct a player around the starting town and first few zones. Do note that all themepark games offer this and a majority of players may expect to Buy Albion Online Gold. The skill board UI is great for more advanced players. But even I found it difficult to navigate and understand at first. New players will have to have their hand held a little bit more. A simple prompt system to help players get through the starter zones and craft tier two sets is crucial.
For example: ‘kill 6 rabbits.’ ‘Good Job! Now skin them for ten hides, then go bank on rocks and chop on trees for ten of each resource.’ ‘Good Job! Now go craft your first tier one set of your choosing, plate, leather or cloth. Let me explain the premise of plate, leather and cloth so you may choose which style fits you… etc.’ ‘Good job! Now go into a tier one green zone and kill 20 tier two mobs so that you can accumulate 2,000 fame. You will need fame to further your character in Albion.’ ‘Good job! Now go bank on rocks, trees, etc…’ You get the picture by now I am sure. Once a player is up to tier three, they should have a pretty strong grasp of the game.
I found the difficulty in PvE to be fair. I did not have too difficult of a time or too easy of a time farming silver in the PvP-free zones. However, for a new player to the sandbox mmo, that is a different story. I bought an epic starter pack for my girlfriend’s younger brother (in high school) who is growing up in the Angry Birds/Minecraft gaming scene. These darn kids just aren’t growing up with real games anymore. AO was his first real game.
He struggled. Rather than helping him, I just watched because I wanted to see what a fresh player would experience and I was there to be a supportive cushion. Although I did have to help him get through the initial starting of the game due to the lack of an in-game guide system discussed above. Once he got into a tier three plate set, it was like watching sand being slowly poured into a large bucket of fail. He died to tier three skeletons and humanoids in Silvermeadow and Whitecliff, and died to tier four giants in Giants Ring constantly. Where I think I may have died once, the entire time.
Luckily I was there to supply him with enough gear and silver to keep trying. Eventually, he figured it out and became self-sufficient. I ask myself, what would happen to a new player if they didn’t have a supportive cushion? The durability loss on lower tiered items is too high. I think it was about 33 durability lost per death. That is ok at higher tiers for experienced players, but detrimental to new players. Again, long term feasibility with Cheap Albion Online Gold. New players should not have to repair, in my honest option. Let them focus on learning the game and genre, rather than repairing or losing their gear and becoming frustrated.
There are a few solutions that come to mind. No durability loss up to tier three – which may not be feasible, create a ruleset in start zones that halve durability loss – certainly feasible, or create a timer that gives a player a one to two week grace period – certainly feasible.