Albion Online – A Player-Friendly Experience

It’s been a while since I first took a look at Albion Online, and wow, have things changed (for the better!). While everything still feels the same graphically, multiple quality-of-life changes have been implemented, making it all much easier for new players to catch on and understand what’s happening.

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A Solid Tutorial

While most games give text overviews of how things look and then let you remember the information for further down the road, Albion starts you out at the very beginning with a tutorial. And rather than just getting players accustomed to the game, it has you venture out in the world and just do things. Gathering and crafting a weapon, armor, and gathering tools are the first things thrown at you, and it’s fairly easy to understand what to do after this. This is where a large part of the game’s progression system resides, and getting a hands-on look makes it much more enjoyable – and takes away the grind-like feeling there might otherwise be.

Tons of Quests

There are many quests that can be found around the world. The tasks vary between things like gathering something to turn in, slaying certain mobs, crafting, or smelting things. The rewards for these are pretty great as well. For example, the ones in Foxvale, a safe (non-PvP) tier 2 zone, give an item called Royal Sigils. These are needed to craft tier 4 items from the same NPCs that give the quests, and generally just require silver in order to finish crafting. This setup helps remove the grind from the game, while at the same time giving great rewards, in the area of progression. And the quests are pretty quick to get completed, too, so even if someone has a limited amount of time to play, progress can still be made.

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Fast Respawns and Many Material Nodes

One thing I noticed that was different with materials is that spawns seem a lot faster, and there are more nodes available. Just standing in the same spot, it’s viable to hold down 4-5 nodes and not need to leave. Just doing one or two will have a little downtime, but it’s still doable if you happen to be in a zone that is already full of players – otherwise just roaming around should be good enough. When talking about material nodes, that also includes the mobs that spawn, so when it comes to getting skins for crafting, it’s fast and easy (as long as you’re geared up enough not to die).

And to make things even better, the gathering rate is based on your equipped gathering tool and a little randomization. The actual speed of the gather is quickened when using higher-tiered tools. As for the amount that are gathered at once, that seems to be random (usually either 1 or 3 at a time), so for nodes that have 15 materials in them, plowing through them can be done in as little as about 30 seconds. Quick, easy, and painless!

Gearing Up and Progressing

Crafting items is pretty straight-forward in the game, generally working like this:

• Visit NPC of the type you want to craft

• Go through the items you want and look at their materials, note it down

• Go out and farm those materials

• Go back to town to smelt/combine what’s needed and then finalize the craft at the original NPC

What gets a bit more confusing is when you toss in the Destiny Board. Essentially, this is what determines the items that can be crafted at any given time, and they are unlocked through various achievements. As an example, you have to kill creatures worth 750 fame to unlock the lowest level of bows (note that you can craft what you want – you just can’t equip). To get to the second tier of bow (Journeyman) you have to kill creatures worth 12,000 Fame while using the Novice’s Bow. So when you pick the path you want to follow, you’ll follow the Destiny Board to unlock those specific nodes. After each one, you can equip the related items. It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of how it works – it’s really just like a questing system, but with choices.

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Final Thoughts

Albion Online is a lot more fluid and easier to both play and understand than in the beginning. Its additions have really made things better than before, opening the doors for a much faster grasp of how things work and faster progression overall. Do note that it’s still in the pre-launch stage, and things are always being altered. Luckily, the team behind it is very open to opinions and suggestions and have done a great job at giving players what they want as a whole.

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