Albion Online Early Access

Albion Online is a new MMO currently in early access due to go live on 17 July 2017.

I’ve been keeping my eye on Albion Online for over a year now as it’s a game which looks interesting. It’s being marketed of being a bit of a cross between Eve Online and Runescape/Warcraft.

The game is set in a medieval world, has pve and pvp elements and lots of crafting like a lot of fantasy MMOs but like Eve Online the economy is player driven where everything in the auction houses are player crafted. There are also different zones similar to Eve Onlines high, low and null secs and player guilds can control areas within the map.

I was unsure whether to get the game while it’s in early access or wait until it’s released as any progress now would be wiped upon it going live.

Today was pay day so I decided I’d buy the basic founders pack. It’s cheaper than most games at under ¬£24 and comes with 30 days premium which gives added benefits.

The game doesn’t need a premium account to play but the added bonus of getting skills points when offline and extra crafting materials will come in handy.

Premium can be bought using in game currency like Eve Online Plexes so it possible to play on a premium account for free if you can make enough money.

I believe you also need to have premium to buy a player island but once bought you don’t need premium to keep it so getting the founders pack means when it goes live I’ll have be able to buy a player island.

My main worry about buying the game early is that progress will be wiped so I didn’t want to invest too much time into progression but I’ve decided to just play it casually and try various different styles of play and crafting to see what I like then I can focus on something when it goes live.

So far I’ve only spent an hour or so in the game and early impressions are good. I like that your not committed to any play style by picking a class to play and all characters are able to use all weapons, armour, skills and spells. Spells and skills are actually attached to your equipment and each piece of equipment can have multiple skills or spells to choose from which will allow for varied builds.

Graphics seem ok, nothing spectacular and your characters don’t look very good but I’m not one to be bothered by graphics as long as the game play is good.

Speaking of game play, it’s very much a sandbox game right from the start. You get some starter quests although they are not quests like most MMOs. The quests are tasks linked to a destiny board which advances as you carry out the various tasks like gathering wood, stone, leather and ore, crafting different items or killing creatures. Completing a task in the destiny board opens up new tier levels giving you new tasks.

The first few are simple gathering quests/tasks then after that the path you want to follow is totally up to you. You can continue to craft or focus on a particular path in the destiny board. You’ve got total freedom on what you want to do like in Eve Online.

So far I’ve found a couple of minor annoyances in that I can’t zoom out very far or move the screen around but it’s something I’ll get used to and the other thing is that when going to craft it automatically opens my inventory screen but doesn’t auto close it, it would be nice if it auto closed or didn’t auto open.

I’m not sure what path to choose so for now I’ll look at doing all the early parts of the destiny board and see what I like. Crafting seems like it’ll be a big part of the game so I’ll need to spend some time doing that and I’d like to try pvp.

One aim I do have when it goes live is to try and settle myself in the region called Cumbria, it’s a black zone which has full pvp and works like Eve Online null sec I think. The reason for wanting to go there is that I live in the English County Cumbria in real life so it be nice to be established there in the game too. 

Theres not much else to say at this time as I’ve not done much in game. It looks promising and could be a good game.

My real only worry is whether new players can get involved straight away or if they need to spend time grinding to use the top tier equipment before they can do anything meaningful. In Eve Online a 1 day player can be involved in major battles alongside veterans flying cheap tackle ships or EWAR but I’m not sure if Albion Online will have any roles like that. Guild v Guild is a 5 v 5 battle from what I’ve seen so that would be the 5 best geared people and it may be that only those in the best gear can compete in pvp leaving new players with a long time before they can catch up and be involved in anything.

Better get back to trying it out and seeing what I can do.

– Sparko Marco 

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