So, you've been thinking about getting into the Albion Online closed beta, but you have a few questions first. Well, I'm here to help you make a better decision about whether or not it's right for you!
The Albion Online closed beta was scheduled to last until February / March of 2016, but was recently extended until at least August (source). This will give you plenty of time to get into the beta and figure out the game before release, giving you a slight edge over those who haven't ever played the game before. Understanding core mechanics of the game, how to quickly navigate the map and able to make yourself a "game plan" is invaluable! The knowledge you can gain while the game is in testing can help catapult you into the leads once the official release happens.
For as little as $30 USD, you could be exploring the lands of Albion! Purchasing a Founder's Pack will grant you instant access to the game; you'll be able to login and play as soon as you finish downloading & patching the client. I'm going to price out some of the perks the most basic pack grants, to help you decide if it is worth buying into.
As you can see, the value of the Veteran Founder's Pack is about $25. This means that you are paying roughly $5 to gain access to the closed beta. A very good deal if you just want to get in and play without having to spend too much money. Again, knowledge is invaluable. And for only $5, it's a steal! The Epic and Legendary Founder's Packs come with quite a bit more in them, but mostly cosmetics. I would only recommend going with one of the higher packs if you plan on sticking with the game for quite a while or have the extra money to spend.
Yes, you can upgrade your Founder's Pack to one of the higher ones at a later time. You will only need to pay the difference between the pack costs (Veteran -> Legendary = $70 upgrade).
Yes! As soon as your payment is cleared, you will be able to login and begin playing in the Albion Online closed beta. You could even speed things up a little bit by downloading the client right now, in case you ever end up purchasing the game in the future. You can access the download page clicking the button below.
Yes, there will be a complete wipe at the release of the game. This means that any progression you have made on your character will be lost, which is typical for a game in beta. Keep in mind that any gold you have purchased from the website, referral bonuses and Founder's Pack rewards will be re-given to you at launch! If you purchase gold in-game, you will not get it back at release. If you purchased gold directly from the website, you will get it back. So, to put it simply: if you acquired it in-game, it will be lost; if you got it outside of the game, you will be given it at launch.
Nope, not as of right now anyways. At the moment, the only thing you can purchase for real money is gold. Gold can then be sold in-game for silver (the main currency of Albion Online). Silver will help you to be able to afford those items you've really been wanting, but you won't be able to use them if you don't put in the work to unlock them in your Destiny Board.
There currently isn't a cash-shop in the game, although I think it's safe to say that we'll see one in the near future. One of the developers have stated on Reddit that they plan on selling cosmetic items for gold, which definitely isn't pay-to-win. We'll have to wait and see what it brings when they finally add it though.
Honestly, yes. Premium Status is a huge boost to your overall gameplay, I highly recommend it to anybody who is thinking about playing this game seriously. It currently costs about $12.50 for 30 days of time, and is character specific (not account-wide). Keep in mind that Premium Status can also be purchased in-game for silver! The game basically uses your silver to buy gold from other players, then purchases the Premium Status with the gold. The cost of Premium Status depends on the current gold-to-silver ratio.