The Queen Update launched on January 20, 2020 and revolutionized Albion’s Outland gameplay. Our next major focus will be on a crucial aspect of Albion Online that needs more attention: solo and small-group gameplay. In this Dev Talk, Game Director Robin Henkys covers several major upcoming features that address this topic, as well as other changes and improvements coming to the game.
No time to watch the video or prefer a written summary? Then read on...
The Roads of Avalon are mystical paths through a misty, otherworldly realm. This ever-shifting network of roads connects locations all across Albion, but only lets a limited number of players pass through any given entrance at a time. Furthermore, while the Roads themselves persist, the connections at either end only last for a limited time, providing a huge number of potential gameplay scenarios.
Solo players can explore these roads to discover where they lead, engage in valuable single-player activities along the way, use them for transportation, and share scouted paths with friends or guild members. Some shortcuts through the mists will go directly from the Royal Continent into the deep Outlands, avoiding potential gankers in portal zones altogether – though the Roads of Avalon follow PvP rules, and present dangers of their own.
Small groups will find valuable group content within these pathways, as well as using them for travel. And finally, small guilds will have the opportunity to settle permanently in locations deep within the mists, removed from the fierce competition of the Outlands but still maintaining numerous options for small-group gameplay.
The next update will introduce an all-new type of solo dungeon, Corrupted Solo Dungeons. These areas are intended for players who enjoy PvE with a risk of PvP, as long as it’s a fair fight against a single attacker. Corrupted Solo Dungeons are non-linear dungeons filled with creatures that have been possessed by a demon from Albion’s Demonic Planes. The dungeon will “swallow” any player entering it, closing the entrance behind them and preventing other players from following.
Players will have to fight their way out by defeating the demon’s minions, and eventually the demon itself. Those looking for PvP can embrace the demonic powers of this place and use them to invade another corrupted dungeon to hunt for the player inside, facing them in a one-on-one battle.
We’re very excited for this new solo PvP activity, as it is already very fun in playtests – and it will be available in both knockdown and full-loot PvP variants!
In terms of big features, we know we want to focus on improving the Royal Continent and Faction Warfare. In our vision, Faction Warfare will become a simple and exciting activity to engage in as a beginning player – a training activity for open-world PvP – but will also have enough depth to engage advanced players who prefer the Royal Continent over the Outlands. As such, we see the potential for Faction Warfare to be similar to “Realm vs. Realm” content in other games, where players should really identify with their chosen faction, earning unique rewards and meaningful standings.
In terms of open-world experience in Albion overall, we believe it is finally time to significantly improve the different mounts available in Albion. We want to improve the variety and usefulness of mounts by adding active abilities to different mount types, giving each type a distinct role in the world of Albion.
Finally, work on the mobile versions is proceeding nicely, and we’ll soon be ready to share some significant improvements – including an all-new HUD and joystick-based control scheme, as well as an auto-downloader for patches. That means the mobile release of Albion Online is finally drawing closer, but we will still take the time to iron out all flaws in the control scheme before we move forward with any release date. Still, we’re having a hard time not being excited when we think about finally giving every player the possibility of jumping into their Albion character on their phone!
Lastly, in regards to last year’s roadmap: while we’ve achieved most of what we set out to do, some things remain unfinished (like better highlighting of PvP hotspots and open-world objectives), which we will continue to work towards. Other ideas from that roadmap have become part of our upcoming features, such as Gathering Dungeons, which are included in our plans for the Roads of Avalon. The same might happen to some of the topics in this roadmap, as things change or are adapted as part of the development process.
That said, we’re really excited about turning our attention towards improving the small-scale PvP experience in Albion Online, along with all the other improvements listed above. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on our roadmap!