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Posted by Eltharyon 3 years ago (Source)

Dear Albion community,

Its finally time to share our plans beyond the Queen update with you! With the last update we brought a revolution to Albion’s Outland gameplay. Now we’re turning our attention to a super important, often overlooked aspect of Albion Online: solo and small group gameplay.

With the next content update, we’re planning to reveal the Roads of Avalon.

These mystical paths through the mists form an ever-shifting network of roads which connect locations all across Albion, but they only let a limited number of players pass through an entrance at a time and each connection only lasts for a limited time. In this way, the Roads open up a vast number of different small scale gameplay options. As a solo player, you’ll be able to explore where they lead, discover valuable solo activities along the way, use them for transportation or share your scouted paths with your guild. You can also use the shortcuts through the mists to go directly from the Royal continent deep into the Outlands, avoiding the ganking at city portals altogether. Small groups will also find access points into the Roads, leading them to valuable group content inside or using the roads for travel. Finally, small guilds will even be able to settle in places available deep inside the mists, away from the competition in the Outlands and participating in this unique type of small scale gameplay.

Also in the next update, we’re going to introduce an all new type of solo dungeon, focused on players who enjoy PvE with the risk of PvP- as long as it’s a fair fight against a single attacker. These Corrupted Solo Dungeons will be non-linear dungeons full of possessed mobs which have been taken over by a demon from Albion’s Hell dimension.

The dungeon will “swallow” any player entering them, closing the entrance behind them and preventing other players from following them. To get out, 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 it 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 to play in playtests- and will be available in both knockdown and full-loot PvP!

Apart from these two big features, there are of course a variety of improvements in the making, some of which you’ll hear more about soon.

For combat, we’re planning to release a wave of balance adjustments and improvements to the current combat meta as this current season proceeds. We’re also beginning to plan changes for the next guild season starting in May, focussing on additional incentives to attack guilds holding many valuable territories, in order to have these guilds prioritize defense and adding additional incentives for powerful guilds to fight each other, rather than other weaker groups in the Outlands. These changes should lead to a more competitive and exciting season. And then there’s a whole new set of artifact weapons we’re currently working on, which will come with their own set of destiny board specialisation and give veteran players something new to aspire to!

Beyond the combat related changes, there are a number of adjustments coming to different economic topics. First of, we’re revisiting the resource changes made with Queen and will boost the amount of Tier 6, 7 and 8 resources spawning in the Outlands- as well as improving their spawn behaviour. We’re also fixing a number of issues with fishing in the new Outlands and will finally get to rework and fix the seaweed economy for fishermen. In addition, we’re giving all craft times an overhaul to remove frustratingly slow craft times and make craft time correlate with the actual amount of resources involved in the crafting process (therefore making time based craft buffs from food make more sense). We’ll also be adjusting focus cost of artifact items, to ensure they make sense to craft with focus as well. In addition, we’re planning to add more variety to currently underrepresented slots like bags, offering new choices for players as well as increasing the variety of items to craft.

On top of these changes, you can expect a number of useability improvements coming to Albion in the next months. These range from a new Mail UI, improved map modes displaying useful information like time zones, a new build UI for buildings all the way to a quick equip & quick buy feature, which will allow you to configure sets of equipment you regularly use and save them to then quickly buy all items at the marketplace or quickly equip those items from your bank.

Going back to the bigger picture, there are a number of really exciting topics on the Horizon. In terms of big features, we already know that we want to focus on improving the Royal continent and the faction warfare experience next.

In our vision, faction warfare will become a simple and exciting activity to become engaged in as a beginning player- a training activity for open world PvP - but it should also have the depth to continuously be played by players who prefer to play on the Royal continent over the Outlands in the long run, similar to how players engage in “Realm vs Realm” content in other games. We also believe players should really identify with their faction, earning unique rewards and meaningful standing within their faction.

In terms of open world experience in Albion overall, we believe it is finally time to improve the different mounts available in Albion significantly. Therefore, a big push we’re planning is to improve the variety and usefulness of different mounts by adding active abilities to all different types of mounts, giving each mount type a really distinct role to play in the world of Albion.

Finally, there are other exciting things happening for the future of Albion Online, apart from the game itself. 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 to just jump into their Albion character on their phone!

Lastly, I should talk about some of the topics that were in last year’s roadmap. If you check on that post, you’ll see that we’ve achieved most of what we set out to do in that post. Some things remain unfinished and we’ll continue to work towards them (like better highlighting of PvP hotspots and open world objectives), and other ideas became part of new features (like gathering dungeons, the idea of these is included in our plans for the Roads of Avalon). The same thing may happen to some of the topics listed in this roadmap- its natural for things to change or be 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 and all the other improvements listed above and can’t wait to hear your thoughts and feedback on our roadmap for Albion Online!

Robin ‘Eltharyon’ Henkys
Game Director

PS.: If we're a bit slow to respond to feedback, its because we're busy taking measures to move employees into home office during the Covid-19 pandemic. Game operations should be unaffected.

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