FREE TO PLAY
On October 4th, Sandbox Interactive GmbH released a free-to-play version of its fantasy MMO, Albion Online, after years of closed beta and purchasable beta versions. Since the first release on July 7th, 2017, reviews have been positive if a little bit skeptical. This is in part due to the relatively new game model of Sandbox MMO but also, because of the very specific in-game economy. In addition, there were a variety of game packages that you had to buy in order to play the game. Now, however, Albion Online is free to play. So let’s take a quick peek at this version of MMO and the brand new gameplay of player driven economy.
One of the first things I noticed and was impressed by is the amazingly helpful population of players. They are very friendly, encouraging, and dedicated to helping new players. They’ll answer any questions in chat and lend a hand with any needs. Albion Online is crawling with tons of players and it’s just impressive how many players are in the game.
By “impressive” amount of players, I mean the area is so overpopulated that for good of servers they had to remove the number of players showing up on the screen to try to regulate frame drops. Which is a little confusing when you see no players, even when you know they are around you. For example, anytime someone cast a spell in overpopulated area you can see the spell itself but not the player. At least overpopulated areas are usually big cities which cause a little confusion but it is something that Albion Online employees are working on by creating more maps and adding new servers.
When beginning the game you will start at neutral area where tutorial introduces you to the amazingly huge world of Albion. The tutorial itself is easy to follow with a few simple tasks to teach you how to use mechanics of the game. When you leave first area and you go for your first adventure there are basically no tasks or quests. So the future of your play style is really up to each individual. You want to be a fighter? No problem, just pick your sword, axe, bow, staff and the rest of your weapons and equipment and just grind dungeons or PvP. You want to be a farmer, tailor, fisherman, cook or even a tamer? Albion says “Be our guest”.
Players can literally be what they choose to be. If you choose to be a fighter than simply by leveling and grinding certain perks and using certain equipment related to the perks you can became the best fighter in all of Albion. If you want to cook, just build yourself a shop. Then you can sell cooked meals that heal or give specific benefits to your character or ingredients that are necessary for brewing potions and poisons. However, one of the only things may decrease your enjoyment is the absence of any story or a least quests, which after tutorial just disappear. It is kind of shame because even if it is completely player driven it feels like there is something missing.
While the story may be lacking, on top of the play style flexibility, there is the PvP Arena which is very fun. It is a 5v5 based domination mode. It is really fun to see all kinds of different types of builds. However, the average queue time for PvP Arena is 5 minutes (which that is a lot) and sometimes it goes even up to 10 minutes
To end this quick review and kind of a first look to Albion Online I will just summarize this. Albion is surprisingly works and, to be honest, it is actually very addictive to play. Once you start you don’t want stop. The market full of player made items works really well and and each city has its own prices and stores. Player built shops fit in well with the world and are easily recognized that they are made by players. Some stores are overpriced, some are very cheap, it all depends on which one you go to. For a Kickstarter game it is pretty successful and it works very well. Some advice for new players – grinding in this game is the key to game itself. So if you’re a grinder, you’ll love this game. Go ahead and see for yourself at https://albiononline.com/en/home.
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Writer for Back to the Gaming and a game fan with all heart and of all genres since day one of my life, preferable genre is RPG. Big The Witcher fan of anything related to it whether it is books, games, or series.
Love writing since young age also writes eBook short stories for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.