How did we get to this point?

The one thing Albion Online has consistently done right throughout the tests was providing interesting overworld PVP. Despite how uninviting GVG is for the average player, there was always the option to grab some gear and run around looking for trouble. Unfortunately, that has been systematically dismantled by the major changes we saw this beta.

Problem #1.
Maps are so large that the only way to find other people to interact with is to camp gates.

I would like to point out important 2 facts:
1.Waiting for someone to walk into a camp is not fun.
2.Walking into a camp is not fun.

This is probably the single biggest problem. There is no practical way to salvage the increased map sizes without implementing entirely new mechanics. We are way too close to launch to rely on scouting items or some whole new system to make the bigger maps not a disaster.
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Problem #2.
LP changes, while super convenient, have removed the incentive to actually go out and kill things. People aren’t leaving town. People are not doing dungeons. The upcoming hellgate changes aren’t going to fix this because whatever reward can be found by the average player in mediocre gear is going to be controlled by big guilds in the best gear.

Devs. Read that line again. Print it out. Start every meeting by reciting it like a prayer.
whatever reward can be found by the average player in mediocre gear is going to be controlled by big guilds in the best gear.

Problem #3.
The rep system was too restrictive at the start of beta and now it is too slack to accomplish anything.

-The people who play the game to PVP view the system as a minor inconvenience.
-The people who don’t PVP much are further discouraged from PVP because they don’t want to be “punished”, but still aren’t protected from ganks in any way by the rep system.

Who is benefiting from the current rep system? Nobody. It is just an ignored system, much like laborers, that makes the game look bad.

I’ve poured countless hours into just about every play test of this game, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. Even if the game never launches, I will honestly feel like my buy-in was worth the fun I’ve already had. Things are not looking good right now though.

Someone convince me/us launch is going to be awesome and the problems will have solutions.

The great post

Thanks for the great post.

  • The main reason for the flagging system is it’s signalling power. If you are flagged blue, other blue players know that you cannot attack them without some up-front notice. This allows people to cooperate and not be overly scared of each other even in yellow and red zones.
  • Of course, just reputation, without flagging, has signalling power too. However, we do not think it’s enough. Even if you are glorious, if you find the right victim with rare gear, you’d still kill him on sight to take his stuff
  • For the same reason, we reset reputation to 0 if you flag red. Flagging red means that you are looking for kills, it’s essentially “contemplating murder” in real life. If somebody told you he was looking to kill somebody, he’d lose all “reputation” for being a good guy, too

The above factors make our system harsher than the “standard” way of doing it that you describe in the OP. Essentially, it strongly encourges players to pick whether they want to be a) a full blown player killer b) a neutral, who can do the occassional opportunistic kill c) a good guy, possibly hunting down PKs

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Here is the pros and cons:
1) Criminal: Can make a lot of kills. But is also in constant danger as he is perma-red.
2) Neutral/slight criminal: Can make some kills while still being able to flag blue. Is a nice target for criminals, as he can be killed without reputation loss.
3) Good Guy: Can’t kill blue players at all, unless he wants to turn neutral. Has best protection from neutrals and criminals as killing him costs a lot of reputation.

Now, why do we think we need a “harsher” criminal system? It has to do with the PvP eco-system. Our goal is to have a sustainable balance between blue and red players in the red zones.

To achieve that, we essentially need to manage the average risk that a blue players faces. If, for example, red players can kill 5 blue players per hour, this is not sustainable. 1 hour of fun for the red players has been bought with tons of hours of grind destroyed for the 5 blue players, the result being that blue players will stop using the red zones, the result being that PKers do not find victims any more and ultimately quit too -> ecosystem has collapsed, and this effect has destroyed many hardcore PvP games.

To balance the system, we need to make sure that the risk vs reward for the red players and the risk vs reward for the blue player in in line with each other.

For the red players, this means that on average, he would suffer a little less than one death for each kill. For the blue player, it woulud mean that the benefits of being in the red zone (better resources, etc) somewhat outweigh the risk of being killed. At the moment, I do not think we are there yet.

All the best

Orange Zone (Edgeville Pking)

After many many years of playing MMORPG’s, beginning with RS classic, I have seen the rise and fall of many titles.

The most successful titles tend to be those that support players of all play styles, while the games focused on a single play style or that rely heavily on p2w cash shops fizzle out and die soon after their launch (e.g. Wildstar / ArchAge / Neverwinter / ect.).

In its current state i would say that Albion falls into the category of focusing on a single play style (the zerg / large alliance pvp focused player) with a slight tinge of p2w through transmuting (that is negligible if the first issue is solved).

In order to encompass a wider audience / increasing your player-base and in-turn revenue and the life of the game i suggest you turn about half of the current red zones into “orange zones”.
Albion Online
I will explain the idea and concept of the orange zone:

  • This will be a zone situated between yellow and red zones.


  • The zones will have the same resources as a red zone (up to t7).


  • Resource spawn rates can be set at the following ratio. Orange 1x spawn rate / Red 2x spawn rate / Black 4x spawn rate of whatever rates you decide fit the game.
  • In an orange zone players can “lock”into 1 v 1 combat by engaging a target.
  • When a player attacks or is hit by another player they are locked into combat with that target for 5 seconds, meaning no outside players can interfere with the fight until there is 5 seconds time without the player attacking or taking an attack from their initial target. ( I would only count the first tic of a dot to avoid abuse).
  • After a successful execute / kill the player gains a 30 second immunity timer where he cannot be attacked in order to collect loot and heal up slightly.

This system is incredibly similar to Runescapes “Edgeville Pking” which is also a full loot mmorpg. It has proven to be both incredibly popular and successful for the game (more people prefer this style of pvp in RS than their multi-combat zones).
This system will give solo players who are interested in pvp a level playing field and gatherers a solid chance to escape a gank.
Solo pvp players in these zones would most likely build for 1 v 1 combat over mobility while the gatherers here would take full mobility builds as opposed to the current red zones where everyone runs mobility / cc to pile the solo players or smaller groups.

This will offer an alternative to being zerged down and still offer greater rewards to the players and gatherers who decide to go to red or black zones.

Everybody wins with this suggestion.

Albion Online with abundance of resources – Discussion

(This is an idea directly written down, with little to no review beforehand)

Albion Online does not feel like a living world.

The reason for that is a game mechanic to prevent abundance of resources. But the system in itself presents a burden to the whole game world, if not perfectly balanced.
–> Natural resources -if gathered- dissappear and leave behind a static map without interaction. This means, that the more gatherers there are, the less resources the average player will find in the world.

If you do not wish to pvp or pve mainly, gathering is a thing, that most players will take up. You go out, you find something, you take it with you and profit. Fastest way to please a player. Same thing with mobs and silver.
So nearly every player will gather at least one resource type.

Most of the play time is consumed by walking through zones. The actual gathering work is quite short in this build, hence putting almost all interaction to traveling. Skinners may have more fighting to do. In my opinion, the general problem does lie within the forced barrier, which is the algorythm behind spawning rates. In an attempt to change the main problem, an idea emerged, which i want to discuss with you all here:

What if the world had abundant resources?

Imagine maps full of resources, which would only slowly disappear. You would have a more realistic world to play in and could always gather, what you want and when you want.
With this change, we would need to adjust some things in oder to maintain a healthy economy:

– normal resources would have 10000+ units, less small resource spots, but bigger chunks
– rare resources would be even more rare and can sometimes be found in normal resources through minigames
– gathering skill would determine, how many units you will yield per try
– crafting would demand way more resources
– gathering time needs to be balanced
– minigames can be implemented
– multiple players can gather at the same resource
– gathering skill would have an exhaustion rate connected to it, so that an inexperienced gatherer may only work for 5-10 min (100-200 resources)
– exhaustion rate would be the new gating mechanic (part 1)
– resources, that are depleted, would use the spawning algorythm (gating mechanic part 2), but only to switch the position of the new spawns and not to keep spawns form happening
Albion Online
What would change?

–> you would gather at certain spots for a longer time, maybe do some minigames, to increase your yield, reduce your stamina consumption or find more rare loot
–> maps would overall look more rich in resources and you could always find something to gather
–> crafters would need more resources to craft, to balance out the new amount of incoming resources. They can also get minigames to reduce the amount of resources needed, to increase quality or fame gained.

–> exhaustion rate as a new way to regulate overusage:
Gathering skill, equipment and/or food determine your stamina while gathering. A pure gatherer, specialized in gathering one resource, would have a good amount of stamina, to work hours after hours, if he/she so desires.
Equipment durability will be more important than before, as you would be able to completely destroy your tool through gathering (because you can actually gather until your tool breaks).
Minigames can occur, which challenge the player to do his/her best, to gain a bonus. You could even find rare resources through these games.

The longer a player stays at one resource spot, the lower the chance of the outcome (minigames, loot). That way, it would be desireable to switch locations more often.
Rare resources would mainly come from players, who are good at minigames. Skilled gatherers would make a profit out of their ability to gather + their knowledge of hidden rare spots in the world (maybe gatherer faction trinket, which reveals some spots only to you?)

The stamina would refill over time (needs to be balanced well), so that you should always be able to gather, if it is your main way of playing. Gatherer Factions could also offer some sort of special massage/food etc., to help you regain a portion of your stamina, but you would need to pay in resources. That way, you could keep progressing at the cost of your own silver profit, or decide to make money and maybe go monster hunting, while you recharge your gathering stamina (after hours! of gathering).


Endless possibilities; nearly endless resources, specialized gatheres heavily needed to get rare materials, always interaction for your main play style, traveling is still rewarding, casual players can progress more easily, hardcore pvp players may turn into gatherers and crafters. No more empty lands, no more boring travel time forced uppon you, if you just want to gather.

Great usage for minigames.

That’s it for now.

Skinners profit from killing mobs (fame) and getting their loot (gathering). Animals could also get increased resource units, but in line to their proportion (100-500, whereas a big ore rock could hold 10.000)

Gathering vs Paying to Transmute

3 of our guild members are out gathering 18+ hours a day and yet there is still no possible way we could gather the 6.4 mats necessary to compete in our GvG’s.

This leaves us with absolutely no CHOICE but to have collectively spent nearly 2000 dollars buying gold just to have enough silver to transmute mats into 6.4 in order to field the team, even with many people over a mil gathering fame…

Please someone explain to me IN DETAIL how this is NOT pay to win. We have to pay to even field a team in equal gear.

Every node of t6 you come across at this point is pancaked nearly 24 hours a day on an absurd 20 hour cooldown, It is completely unfeasible to attempt to gather the resources necessary to field the gvg team, leaving 0 options outside of paying real life money for gold and then using the gold to get silver to transmute into 6.4

The scarcity is a problem, but not for the zergs, becuase they have enough people gathering. It’s a problem for solo gatherers or solo players or small groups.

  1. Go on the AH and look and try to buy even some t6.3 mats, theres none available, the zergs gather it all and sell NONE of it. NONE. Because they need it for GVG.
  2. Now go out as group of 5to10 and try to GATHER the resources to field a team in even basic 6.3! It’s NEVER going to happen, the nodes are all flat and you risk being zerged, it could take weeks to craft even ONE set for each of your players.

The current game is completely impossible for a small group to compete in anyway without paying real money to transmutate resources.

I’m not complaining because im suffering here, im complaining on behalf of EVERYONE ELSE, TECHNICALLY IM BENEFITING FROM THE CURRENT SITUATION. BUT I CAN SEE THAT IT MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANYONE who is not in a zerg or an incredibly hardcore guild!

EVEN if they can’t see it yet, I SEE IT, AND THEY WILL SEE IT SOON ENOUGH!!!! And trust me when i say they are GONE when they realize it, gone gone gone wave goodbye now!

SOLUTION: ALL that has to be done to fix the problem is make the resrouces easier to GATHER than to CREDIT CARD. It’s currently the opposite, the resources aren’t even remotely obtainable by a small guild or group of players, so they have 1 option, credit card.

I’m not saying take the credit card option away entirely, im saying [b]MAKE GATHERING ALSO A VIABLE WAY FOR A SMALL GROUP TO GEAR THEMSELVES. Currently it is COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE for a small group to gather what they would need to field a team! HELL they CAN”T EVEN BUY THE RESOURCES ON THE AH BECAUSE THE BIG STRONG GUILDS ARE HORDING IT ALL!

Improving the Invite a Friend system

As it stands right now I have two major issues with the way the “Invite your Friends” process is handled. My main concern is with the fact that when my friends access through my referral link or through e-mail (I have checked both) they only get redirected to the homepage with no visual indication that they are being referred in any way. They should be taken to a registration screen where they also have a small visual representation like: “X is referring you”. Right now my friends are holding back on their founders pack purchases because they are unsure if they are actually being referred.

The actual recruitment message you send out through e-mail is 100% automated. The only change you do is your name. Now this might seem silly to most but the e-mail looks awfully lot like those mass-produced “Come to play our facebook game” kinda thing. Giving us the options of filling in our own recruitment message would let us add a personal touch to them and also make them feel more welcome to the game from the get-go.

I know these seem like small and insignificant changes, but this is about the first impression people have of the AO experience (Actually registering). So it should feel intuitive. Thank you for listening to my rant and have a nice day!

High end resources are very rare. On top of that, the transmutator is designed to be a high end silver sink. So it’s working as intended.

Note that the silver you intend to use for transmutation – even if you buy it with gold – has been gathered by other players, so is in limited supply.

I highly doubt that you could currently spend 2000 dollars on gold and swap it into silver without totally crashing the gold market, as I do not think that other players have enough silver to sell. (and if you did, you would pay other player’s premium accounts for a very long time indeed, as you’d really drive down gold prices)

Also, tier 6.4 is crazy high, I would be very surprised if any guild could currently field that type of gear on a consistent basis. Even if you could, the question is whether you should, given how hard it is to replace.

Feedback Rant in Albion

Hi all,

In this starting final beta, It s clear that in royal lands pvp is totaly dead…
I m not saying that criminal system is wrong, but it is too much penalizing… The only thing that is good, if you want to make experience in pvp, is the hellgate… It works very good, it is funny but sometimes if you want to do it, you must go around for hours and hours because they are overfarmed… And in a game like Albion cant be the only feature available to have a pvp experience without being a criminal.
So, why dont introduce new features to improve it?
Should be nice to create inside the maps some places surrounded by walls, where to fight against others players, without criminal system, for little rewards like extra resources…

For example:
-Every 30 mins 4 teams of 5 players max can enter inside the maps
– The 4 teams must fight before 2 vs 2 (first 15 mins) and after the 2 winner teams 1vs1 for the final (the 15 mins left)
– Who wins will receive 100 resources of the max tier of that territory, for example if you fight in a swamp from t4 to t6 every players will receive 100 cotton 100 wood and 100 hide
– A team can do it only every four hours
-Yellow zones no free loot, red zones free loot

Anyway every kind of PvP events that exclude criminal system should be very very very appreciated…
Last alphas and beta were definetely funnier with the possibility to do gvg with cap and pvp free in yellow zones… Now the game its too much limited…


In Albion you had to compete for everything

Within 5 zones of our guild territory, I have all three (soon to be all 5) biomes T3-T7, one full blown city, Ports that lead to both King and Queen’s red zones, 5 relic chests, T6 and T7 dungeons, 2 main travel pipelines, and 3 enemy guild territories to Buy Albion Online Gold. If I get friends and travel father, Castles, T7+, and more enemy territories open up.

On top of that, there is a good balance in guild territory placement right now. If you want to be close to King’s/Queens and the travel pipelines, you have to accept being in T3-5 zones. Other guilds that will have to travel move get to live in the T6-8 zones. If you want the T7-8 biomes, you have to live deeper in the biomes and farther from other biomes.

If for some reason we want to go all the way across the map and mess around in some other time zone’s non-peak hours, I suppose that would be a 6-8 zone trip. Personally I don’t find that unreasonable.

It would be different if it wasn’t organized by peak play times, but right now there isn’t much incentive to go sit in RU/AU time zones when they don’t have many people on to fight.

In Albion you had to compete for everything, whether it’s fame, resources, territories.

Now, everybody can have their own safe zone with all the resources and fame they will need. You don’t have to earn Albion Online Items. This means most guilds will stay in their comfort zone for most of their time in game, and will have to go pretty far to make the game feel a little action packed, whereas before you could get to the action faster, scout the action faster, since the maps were smaller, and find more action in general.

Removing fast travel in the outlands all together didn’t make sense to me. We had the first territory in the Outlands and nobody settled in near us. In order to find action, me and a few of our guys ran a couple of throwaway sets to Dauntensea in case we ever got bored and felt like pvping, we would port over there naked, grab our set, and go look for pvp.

We were planning on launching attacks and getting some practice in some gvgs before the start of beta 2. Most guilds are active around Dauntensea and Black Forest now as it seems. We were gonna do this by leaving a bunch of gvg sets in one of those cities, but now we are forced to travel 10+ maps to get a gvg. It was inconvenient to gvg teams in different time zones before, but this creates another inconvenience.

One more thing, what’s up with the Hell Gates?

Hell Gates… Realistically, it should be the main attraction for pvp in this game. Think about it, you run the risk of running into another group. You then need to win the fight vs the other group to get to the albion online gold market, whether that should be the fame silver or rare drops. Come to find out, the fame isn’t nearly the best, the mobs and even the boss drop no silver, nor do they drop anything at all.

Through game design measures in Albion Online

“Several games have attempted to discourage zerging through game design measures, to varying degrees of success. In Albion Online, in an effort to promote and encourage fairer match-ups between smaller groups of opponents, we’re implementing several mechanics to make zerging as ineffective as possible. Please note, though: this does not mean there won’t be large-scale battles happening. It just means we don’t want to see 50 guys killing 3 guys.

Let’s take a moment to clarify slightly, because this is a key cornerstone of our philosophy for albion online gold market and an issue we feel strongly about. Our intent here, as before, is not to stop large-scale battles from happening, but rather to give players the option of choosing the size of their battles, enabling large groups to easily find each other while allowing smaller groups to evade them. We also engineer our design towards, for example, creating scenarios where it is more economical to run around in smaller groups as opposed to a giant zerg.”

Why would they want to “make zerging as inffective as possible” if smaller scale and even fights was not their vision? This blurb is NOT true this test at all, its a zerg-fest. This game is quite LITERALLY designed around small scale pvp and even fights. 5v5 GvGs, Hellgates, Blue dungeons portals…. City fights are 20v20 not 50v10, you get a warning with castle fights that someone is attacking you AND the attackers have the bonus of guards/doors/castle walls to make it more fair for the defender because TYPICALLY they will be outnumbered because they are reacting to their castle getting attacked.

You will not convince me that this game was not designed around even or small scale fights not who brings more.

Fair enough on the last paragraph, but I feel like black zones are a joke when it comes to PVP right now and will be the reason people cann’t leave albion online gold shop. If you’re defending the black zones as they currently are, it is HIGHLY likely you are IN the zerg and not constantly on the receiving end of death by numbers or running away to safety because the opponent has 10-15 more people than you.

My favorite part of the article though is this:

“1. Zerg Algorithm: We are currently working on an algorithm that can detect who belongs to which side in a big battle. This is because one of the first things enterprising zerg-inclined guilds would do to circumvent anti-zerg measures would be to split up into different, seemingly unconnected guilds. We intend to be smart in spotting them, even if they do not belong together on the surface.”

Where did this go and why would they work on something like that if they wanted the game to play like it currently does? Remember, himself said they don’t want to see 50 guys killing three guys, its the “key cornerstone of our philosophy for Albion Online”.

Maybe you guys will like some of these ideas about Albion

1) Melee and Ranged weapon slots on character: There should be the ability to have a ranged as well as melee weapon equipped to your character as well as the ability to switch between them in combat. This would give players the ability to have a few different strategies depending on what situation they find themselves in. NOW I know everyone says well then whats the point everyone would run with both weapons…WELL… heres how you make it work. First off its going to take time and Albion Onlin Gold for people to grind enough into both ranged and melee weapons to master them both so what you can do is when someone REALLY enjoy either ranged or melee and they ONLY equip one or the other EX: Only holding dual daggers, only holding crossbow, only holding claymore INSTEAD of holding both claymore AND bow, the weapon that is equip by itself gets a slight boost to damage that would be meaningful enough to justify it. This lets people show their specialization as well as maximize the benefits from that weapon.

You could also add higher up into the later tiers branching bonuses for solo wielding a weapon instead of having a secondary ranged or melee weapon equipped. Now people who DO want to hold both weapons will not receive any bonus to damage on either but instead be a more jack of all trades where they have utility for the situation they find themselves in BUT are not doing the most amount of damage and getting the most bonuses from the weapons since they are not just holding one.

2) Weapon Enchanting: Add in the ability for crafters to enchant weapons and effectively remove and replace abilities on weapons and armor with learned and discovered abilities. FOR EXAMPLE an enchanter can learn a few different abilities that can replace the crossbow Q ability with and can enchant them onto peoples gear if they so desire with correct reagents and only of course. These enchants CAN ALSO go out into the world and find in the deep dungeons and hell gates NEW AND MORE INTERESTING / POWERFUL abilities that can only be learned when they are found to replace abilities on armor with. This would give MORE incentive and MORE reward for going into these areas besides just crafting materials and silver / fame.

3) Specialized Skill Trees: Add in specializations towards the end of mastering one of the “overarching” skill trees AKA Ranger / Warrior / Mage. Add in two separate paths that people can go down when they are closer to the higher tiers FOR EXAMPLE in the Ranger set of skills towards the end you can go down one branch which lets you learn how to make more Albion Online Silver in the world and use as either pets / mounts OR caravans of sorts. the SECOND branch would instead be more of a scouting / tracking tree that allows people in the Ranger tree to be able to track other players more efficiently by finding footprints in the ground seeing trails that others can’t see ect. Add in these types of specializations per “overarching: skill set.

4) Interactive spells: Like in Guild Wars 2, the best exampleI can think of, let some skills interact with each other. FOR EXAMPLE if a caster puts down a wall of fire and an archer shoots and arrow through it, the arrow then deals fire damage and applies a fire DOT. This would ENCOURAGE more skill based and group coordinated play among players. It would add interesting mix and dynamics to the playing field in BOTH PVE AND PVP.
There are more ideas that I have but these are the most fleshed out that I have come up with. Please provide feedback and help expand on these examples so we can really ad more depth and layers to this game! There is so much potential!