Sunday, August 20, 2017

Albion Online review

First of all, I'm not here to bash anyone. I do acknowledge that SBI is heading through some rocky roads with all the gold-seller + ddos issue and I understand how hard it must be to juggle between these problems and developing a good game at the same time. I honestly wish the best of luck to them.

Albion is a fun game, but it ends there. It's a game that lacks depth and options on what to do. Yes, I do know it's a sandbox game and "you should make up your own goals" and I do agree with that. The problem though is that the path you take to reach 90% of your possible made up goals are all the same.

Want to master on a specific kind of weapon?

  • Keep re-running the same dungeon xxx times until you get enough fame.

Want to craft/gather T6+ items?

  • Keep grinding the same maps for xxx hours

And that sucks. A lot of people like to compare AO to OSRS but OSRS is just years ahead (literally to be fair). If you ever get tired of training combat in OSRS, you'll be able to go questing, grind minigames, hunt bosses or choose between 20 skills to train, all of them having completely different systems to level up, while in Albion everything feels the same. Want to craft a T7 plate? Grind your way to gatherer T6+ and craft a shit ton of the same plates in order to craft a T7 one, all of this while doing the exact same thing you'd do if you wanted to craft T7 Leather, Cloth, Bows, Sword, Staff or whatever else you can think of. And even if you manage to join a BZ guild, you'll still be doing the exact same shit you'd be doing if you were solo if you want to progress, that is: endlessly killing mobs and/or gathering resources.

Also, one huge turn down for me was the skill system. You have 5~6 skills only that are tied to the gears you'll use. And the gears will have the same skills regardless of what tier you're using, so it feels you didn't progress at all. If you make a huge effort to get to t8, you'll have the exact same skills you did when you were using T2 (Yes, you'll unlock some skills during the way, but once you unlocked them they'll always be the same).

The good part about the game is the PvP. It's one of the few MMORPGs that actually has the "hardcore death" (You lose all your items when you die). So PvPing feels really exciting as you're close to make bank or lose your bank all the time. And there's the Blackzones which are awesome. Guilds controlling entire non-instanced regions of the game is something I was craving for a long time because it creates politics and drama and that's what MMORPG endgame was all about back in the "good ol' days".

Unfortunately, the PvP won't make up for the game's flaws to me so I left. Hopefully once SBI gets out of the shitstorm they're in with the gold-sellers they'll be able to push more game content and maybe add something to make your character's progression feel rewarding. They honestly should stop focusing on cool webpages like character builder/killboard and start to focus on actual in-game content. I mean, those pages were awesome but that shouldn't be that up on the priority list with the current state of the game.

tl;dr: Albion's PvP is good but it lacks game content and it feels really unrewarding.

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