now that the Albion Online Closed Beta test has been running for a little more than two months, it is time to give you an update on where we see the game right now and what our plans are as we get closer to release.
Thanks to your support in helping us test the game, we have learned a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of the game as it is right now. Based on that, we have identified a few core areas that we will be focusing on for now.
In its current state, the game world can sometimes feel too unified and boring. This is due to the fact that we aimed to create a huge world, with a small team, in a limited amount of time. Based on the ongoing success of the game, we are expanding our world and level design staff and are working on creating a much more unique, interesting and expanded game world over the coming months. This will include improved aesthetics, such as biomes, unique player cities and also more strategic depth when it comes to resource and hot-spot distribution across the world.
Albion Online offers different types of content, with different risk vs reward ratios. This ranges from open world PvE in safe zones and ends with PvP raid dungeons. In between, we have our dungeons, gateways and hellgates. The beta test thus far has shown that, while all of these work great and are a lot of fun, there are still a lot of issues with their frequency, distribution around the world and the fame and loot rewards offered by them. We will be working on improving all of these aspects, while of course continuing to add new dungeons, gateways and hellgates to the game constantly.
We really believe in the core principles of character progression in Albion Online, namely that you progress your character through active gameplay, sped up strategically by passive learning. However, the current system is still pretty rough around the edges, in particular when it comes to the distribution of the right type of mobs and resources throughout the game world and how you can progress from them. Our vision here is to allow people to progress through different means, while always making sure that there is a clear correlation between risk and reward.
Red Zones and Black Zones
As part of our game world rework, we want to strengthen the purpose and identity of red zones and black zones.
Black zones are the zones where guilds and alliances fight over control. All regions that contain claimable territories will be assigned the black zone status. As a result of that, a much much larger part of the game world will be black zones and the highest end resources are only found there. Black zones will also contain open world buildings that provide certain benefits and influence to the owning guild and can be constructed, claimed and destroyed relatively freely.
Red zones will be full loot PvP zones that do not contain any claimable territories. Red zones will be subject to a crime and reputation system that makes sure that killing peaceful players – in particular, if they are zerged down – has more consequences for the attackers. Our goal for the red zones is for them to be zones more aimed solo and small group players, and not be as dominated by the larger territory-holding guilds as they currently are. This should make them attractive zones for higher end gathering and PvE (with a somewhat better chance to get away with it!) and small scale PvP fights.
“You are what you wear” is one of the core principles of Albion Online, as your character’s skills and abilities sit on your equipment. We are working on a revamp of our crafting system, giving crafters and players much more choice in how to create and optimize the items that they craft.
On top of that, we are introducing special rare items with unique abilities to the game. These items are player crafted, but do need special resources dropped from certain bosses or treasure chests to create. And very, very rarely, they can drop directly, but in a way that does not compete with crafting.
As previously announced, we are reworking and simplifying our armor system, to remove the confusion / mix that currently exists between armor material and armor heaviness.
As we are still in beta, there is a constant focus on balancing, polishing, bug fixing, User Interface and Quality of Life improvements.
We will be following up with regular updates and also publish dedicated development blogs on some of the core features and improvements highlighted above.
If you would like to see a more detailed list of our planned changes, please take a look at our Updated Development Roadmap.
Besides, you can always keep up-to-date with all recent changelogs and patch notes as well as the contents of our regular game updates on our website: Albion Online Updates Section
We are looking forward to your questions and suggestions in our forums.