Albion Online is a MMORPG that is very reminiscent of old-school role-playing games such as Ultima Online and Runescape. It’s designed around letting players enjoy the game as they wish, and in Albion’s case there is no level system. Instead, stats and effectiveness are based on the current gear players have equipped and which stat bonuses they’ve chosen. This puts the game in a unique situation, as it gives all players the same chance at success, while at the same time working to ensure each player is different.
Gear in the game is obtained by crafting it. It comes in different tiers, each of which is pretty much a necessity (unless you have help from others) to obtaining the next set. Because of this, it does have a sort of progression-based feel to it, despite not being based on levels. Along with this, they are crafted using materials of their specific tier. For example the tier 1 set will use tier 1 materials and tier 2 sets will require tier 2 materials. This makes it extremely easy to understand how to obtain the next set, as well as what materials are going to be needed. On top of this, when creating a new item there are special stats that you get to choose between, making each piece of armor and each weapon unique.
Albion has no real classes. Everything is based on the weapons you want to equip and the skills you choose to go with them. Tack this on with the lack of levels, and it truly opens the doors for being able to try out different play styles without needing multiple characters. This makes experimenting that much easier, and helps significantly when part of a guild or group where a certain role is needed. Along with this, switching skill types is as simple as swapping out the equipped gear!
This is where the game gets a bit more complicated. While crafting is pretty simple, finding the materials you need is not so easy. There are tons of nodes all over the world, from trees to rocks and even plants and iron. While you would think this makes finding the right materials pretty straight-forward, that is far from the truth. In fact, finding the lowest tier is easy. Finding higher tiers becomes more and more difficult due to being sparsely spread throughout the world.
Take, for example, trees. There are tons of the tier 1 trees everywhere, which give Rough Wood (a requirement for the lowest tier of items). When you need tier 2 trees for Normal Wood, however, these are taller trees and are often hidden among others. While this helps make these trees stand apart a bit, it can be a little confusing when going from one tier to the next and trying to figure out which nodes belong to which. Due to having a limited weight cap, being careful not to overload with unnecessary materials is a necessity.
Death – Bring On the Pain
Dying in Albion is a rough experience. When this happens – whether due to PvP or PvE – the entire inventory is wiped, as well as all equipped items. What this basically means is that you start from the ground up. The way of avoiding this is to store items in the bank, but that doesn’t help when it comes to losing the items you have equipped. It truly pays to be careful in the game and do your best to avoid being killed by an enemy; regardless as to if it’s a mob or a player. Luckily, there are tons of safe zones and skills that will help avoid deathly (and costly) situations.
Land and Building Ownership
Players are able to own both land and buildings. Once you own land, you are able to build different things on it, including places like repair facilities and crafting stations. These can then be opened to the public (or kept private), and you can charge others for using the buildings. You do have to keep up with them, however, because with usage they will deteriorate. And if they get all the way down, they will be trashed and you’ll have to rebuild them again, at a cost of both materials and time. Because of this, when opening a stall to the public it’s a good idea to do it when you’re around to keep up with what its status is. Otherwise you might just log in to find it gone.
On top of being able to own things on your own, both land and buildings can be sold. This opens the ability to create a realty market, buying, selling and trading these to gain better items or more desirable locations. With that said, owning either of these is not needed. Generally, there are tons of public options available that will save a lot of effort at the cost of renting their usage instead of actually owning them.
Albion is a game that is like MMORPGs used to be – based on the more “permanent” aspects of the world. Dying means losing everything that’s not in the bank. Owning land means it’s yours (so long as fees are paid as needed) until it’s sold. Items and buildings take damage with use, leading to the possibility of both being broken (and therefore trash). It leads to a game where paying attention to what is going on around you is of utmost importance. Slipping up can cost a lot of headache, and looking at the long-run will help alleviate most of that. With the inclusion of things like Guild vs. Guild battles and castle sieging, it’s shaping up to be a great experience!