Dev posts

Discussion in 'Albion Online' started by Merketh, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. Merketh

    Merketh Guild Council Staff Member

  2. Merketh

    Merketh Guild Council Staff Member

    "Hardcore" vs "Casual" Debate - Our Stance
    6 hours ago+10

    With Albion Online, our goal is to create a hardcore Sandbox MMORPG with full loot PvP and a fully player driven economy.

    There have been many games like this in the past, such Mortal Online or Darkfall, that have not managed to maintain high population numbers. And once population is too low, even the hardcore players tend to leave as the game feels empty to them.

    In this post, we want to share our view on the topic of hardcore vs casual players in Sandbox MMORPG games, and present our vision on how to make Albion Online a great game that will be there for the long term.

    1. Symbiosis between "carebear" and hardcore players in Sandbox MMORPGs

    The most successful hardcore Sandbox MMORPG of this day is without doubt Eve Online. Yet, in Eve Online, the vast majority of players play in the equivalent of Albion's green zone (high-sec) most of the time. Sounds like a contradiction? So should Eve Online "abolish high sec" and allow free PvP everywhere, like other games do?
    Of course not. The fact of the matter is that huge number of safe-zone players actually provides the fundamental basis for the game's hardcore PvP elements to work. How?
    • Safe zone players create a lot of supply and demand for the player driven market
    • Safe zone players tend not to lose a lot of gear. At some point, they might have too much. What do do with too much gear that you can afford to lose? PvP!
    • Many players who initially start out playing it safe will graduate to PvP later on. However, this only happens if they stay in the game long enough in the first place
    • Safe zone players add and activity to the world.
    A strong safe-zone foundation in a hardcore sandbox MMORPG will literally spawn an endless and lasting amount of hardcore play and PvP. If you take that foundation away - or do not build it in the first place - the game is not likely to last.

    2. Have a great safe zone experience as a strong baseline for the world
    • We want to make sure that the safe zone experience in Albion Online is interesting and challenging enough to keep people hooked for the long term.
    • Of course, this does not mean copying games such as World of Warcraft - that would never be possible nor would we want to do so.
    • Rather, we want to focus on the strengths of Albion Online here: building up your character, gathering and crafting, progressing towards better items, being an active part of the player driven economy, farming, getting your player island, grinding mobs and doing some faction stuff.
    • If the safe zone experience is good, a lot of safe zone players will eventually transition to the red and black zones, join a guild or get involved in PvP.
    • If the safe zone experience is bad, some will still transition, but many will just quit. And as we have stated under 1. above, even those that stay in the safe zone forever still add a benefit to the overall game world and even indirectly support PvP action through their economy contribution.

    3. No "forcing" players into PvP

    Okay, so you might say: "I agree on point 1. above, but then wouldn't it be great if you forced players to venture into the PvP zones at some point?". The answer to that is no.
    • In general, if you really force a player into some activities that he does not want to do - even though he was quite happy with the stuff which he was already doing - then most likely that player will just quit
    • However, as stated under 1., that player provides a benefit to the overall game world and economy - it much be much better if he stayed even if he'd just stick to "carebear" activities
    • Therefore, we actually want to make sure that there is deep gameplay and lasting fun in all the safe/carebear activities that we provide the players with.
    • Instead of trying to force people into PvP, we actually want to encourge it and provide incentives to do so. See the next point.

    4. Encouraging and enabling players to do PvP through top notch open world PvP content, rewards and features

    So we are not forcing people to go into PvP. Does this mean that we do not want them to? Of course not. From our point of view, full loot PvP in red zones, fighting over territories, etc is very exciting and we would like for as many people as possible to give it a try. There is a lot of things that we have done in Albion that are helping with this:
    • Balance the economy in such a way that safe/yellow zone players are generally building up a surplus of silver and assets that they can then burn off in PvP zones if they like
    • Provide the best rewards in red and black zones, making sure that there is a strong pull effect towards them
    • Have exciting features and content that are exclusive to PvP zones (territory ownership, GvG fights, enchanting temples, castle fights, etc)
    • Have the yellow zone as a smoth transition between safe zone play and full loot PvP
    • Have our current PvP flagging system, that prevents mindless "kill on sight" if both parties are flagged blue

    5. Summary
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Guild Council Staff Member

    good read for all our @Guild Member ! read this to be persuaded into Albion!
  4. Merketh

    Merketh Guild Council Staff Member

    Hi all,

    if you haven't done so already, please read this first: "Hardcore" vs "Casual" Debate - Our Stance

    In the current state of the game (11th December 2015), if you are playing in the safe or yellow zones, you will hit a progression wall at around tier 4 or 5.

    What does this mean?

    The problem
    • No more mobs to improve your combat skills on
    • No more ressource to improve gathering or crafting
    • No more difficulty progression of PvE content
    The way this currently works goes against our philosophy of not forcing players into the red/black zones. We want to get as many players as possible into those zones, but we do not want to force anybody. So how can we fix this issues without somehow making the red/black zones less valuable?

    The solution
    • Provide higher tier mobs and higher tier PvE content in the green and yellow zones
    • Introduce the token/expedition/blueprint system, with a focus on safe/yellow zones (but not exclusive to these zones, see below)
    • Buff red and black zones. Ensure that the rewards are always better than in green/yellow if you dare take the risk.
    Tokens and blueprints
    • When killing mobs, be - disregarding the zone - you will get faction-themed tokens (in different factions, levels and tiers)
    • If you have enough tokens, you can exchange them into a blueprint for a special item (usually faction themed)
    • In order to create the special item, you will need to combine the blueprint with a normally crafted item. This item will usually require red/black zone ressources to make
    • In a nutshell: Special Item = Blueprint (usually from safe/yellow PvE) + Crated Item (usually from red/black zone and being crafted by red/black zone players!).
    • This makes sure that there is a direct synergy at work here. It also creates demand for high end items in the safe zones.
    • Special items will generally be more PvE themed than PvP themed
    • We want to have a real difficulty progression also when it comes to PvE dungeosn and content
    • Main challenge for us there is that there is no proper way to control how many players enter a dungeon, this makes it hard to design challenging content
    • Gateway dungeons address this, however, they are fully open world which makes it hard to offer a good sense of progression there
    • Introducing expeditions: You can exchange tokens against an expedition map
    • With the expedition map, you can go to a ship and launch an expedition. This will take you to an island / cave / dungeon designed for a set number of players (we are looking into group sizes of 2, 5 and 15)
    • Expeditions will provide super challenged PvE content. The rewards will be better/further tokens that can be exchanged into blueprints or, potentially, more difficult expeditions
    All the best,

    P.S.: Note that this post is a sneak peak, details are still subject to change.

    Questions and Answers

    1) Wil this hurt the red/black zone economy?
    The above feature will significantly strengthen the demand for red/black zone items.

    2) Why would I grind up fame and silver in red or black zones if I can do the new PvE content?
    We will add multipliers to silver and fame for red and black zones to make sure that if you dare to take the risk, they are always more rewarding.

    3) Will I be able to get blueprints/tokens from red/black zones as well?
    Yes, and we will make sure that some of them are exclusive to red/black zones! As always, in Albion, the top end of everything can only be found there.

    4) Are you neglecting PvP zones?
    No. We are actually working on additional objectives for PvP zones, involving capturable and maybe open world buildable/destructible buildings (think watchtowers, castles, outposts). This, however, is definitely too early stage to share right now.

    5) What about my progression if I am gatherer?
    High tier ressources will stay exclusive to red and black zones. However, we are thinking about providing special gear or abilities aimed at gatherers that offer some extra protection against being ganked, either with some stealth options and/or some better escape tools. Of course, you will never be invulnerable.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Guild Council Staff Member

    Good dev post, glad to see they want the synergy to be improved so it will be better for us all.
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Guild Council Staff Member

    Hi all,

    we want to share another feature with you that we will implement during the closed beta test.

    The goal is to resolve the issue of excess supply of crafted and refined materials that people have to produce in order to level up their fame.

    The issue
    • In order to get fame for refining and crafting, you will produce items even if there is no real market need for them
    • As a result of that, prices for these items in the open market get very low, lower than the cost of the ingredients
    The solution
    • A study/disscet/training feature offered at crafting buildings
    • Immersion-wise, imagine that you destroy an item in order to learn more about it / study how to craft it
    • Game-wise, you will be able to hand in excess crafted/refined items to the refiner / crafter. The items will be destroyed, but you will be awarded extra fame towards the relevant destiny board node
    • To prevent people from using the above to level the destiny board with bought items, without actually crafting anything themselves, you will only be able to use the training feature if you have already unlocked a certain percentage of the total fame needed for the node/mastery
    • Say I would have to craft 100 T4 Swords to unlock T5 Swords
    • In the current system, I will craft those 100 swords and then salvage them or sell them in the open market, creating artificial supply
    • In the new system, I will, say, only craft 50 of those swords. I can then dissect/study these 50 swords at the NPC, they will be destroyed, but I wiill get extra fame for this in return, thus unllocking the next destiny board node
    • Note: the number above are just examples, everything of course is subject to balancing
    All the best,
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Guild Council Staff Member

    Hi all,

    this is a cross-post from another thread that might be of interest to you:

    To bring an entire set of gear (boots, chest, helmet, 2h weapon or 1h+oh) from 3.1 to 8.6, you would need

    Without LP:
    • 106.376.215 fame
    • This corresponds to around 1.900 hours played w/o premium and 1266 with premium
    • Assuming that you power grind (no break!) for 4 hours per day, including weekends, it will take you 322 days
    With LP
    • You need 3400 LP to get one full set from 3.1 to 8.6
    • As you get 20 LP per day, the LP would take 170 days to generate
    • LP would reduce your grind requirements from 1266 hours to 313 hours.
    • So, if you do pure grind for 2 hours per day, 5 days per week, it would take you 31 weeks, i.e. 217 days, to get one gear set to 8.6
    Is that too easy? Judge for yourself
    • Currently, there are 45 different weapons in the game. With our enchanting rework, all of them will go to tier 8.6
    • Maxing out all of them, assuming no LP, will take 39 years of grind if you grind for 4 hours per day
    • With LP, to max out all of them, you would need 76,500 LP. It would take you more than 10 years to get that amount of LP. On top of that, you would have to grind for around 4 hours per day, each day, during those 10 years on top of that
    • For armors, as there are 9 different ones (which will become truly different after the rework), it would be "just" 8 years of grind without LP and 2 years with LP, provided that you grind for 4 hours per day, each day, during those 2 years
    • The above assumes that you use 0 LP for gathering, refining and crafting.
    • It also assumes that there is enough mobs, ranging from power level 4 to power level 12
    All the best,
    • Informative Informative x 1