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Posted by Eltharyon 3 months ago (Source)

Hi everyone,

I’m here to provide a quick update on our development progress and what you can look forward to in the coming weeks and months!

In our last roadmap update we gave you a first insight into our plans for Albion’s next Content Update. We announced that we’re planning to renew Open World gameplay in Albion Online, and since then, we’ve been working hard on making those plans become a reality. Soon we’ll be ready to begin sharing our progress in a new set of devtalks!

Next to these planned features, we’ve also looked at the feedback we’ve received on our Roadmap. Many of you asked us to also take a close look at power balance in the Outlands, and so we did.

The current strategic balance in the Outlands encourages large power blocks to form, and these power blocks in turn have an incentive to discourage conflict and raise a stable income by demanding rental payments from guilds under their protection. Enforcement of rental payments is possible due to the power blocks being extremely dominant in large scale fights on the one hand, and the difficulty of organising enough groups to fight against a power block at the same time on the other hand. The risk of losing one’s Hideout - and the hassle that this comes with - is simply too high for many of them.

We’ve decided we want to specifically tackle this problem with the upcoming Update by introducing a new feature called “Hideout HQs”.

To break the rental dynamics, guilds will be able to - with the right effort and subject to restrictions - turn one, and only one, of their Hideouts into a so-called HQ. An HQ is a Hideout that can only be used by guild members and, as long as it is maintained through open world activity, cannot be attacked through CTAs. The effort required to establish and maintain it is based on the quality of the zone the HQ is in.

In order to be able to establish such a Hideout - if you don’t already have one - guilds who reach a high enough season score in the previous season will be able to instantly complete a Hideout once per season and turn it into an HQ, however, the zone quality in which you can do that will heavily depend on your total score in the previous season. And after you have placed it, you will have to maintain it just the same.

With the ability to turn Hideouts into HQs, it will be much harder for large power blocks to enforce rental regimes. HQs can still be contested, but that would need to be done through prolonged open world action to make it too hard for the HQ owner to generate enough upkeep for the Hideout. The upkeep will depend on the quality of the zone, hence, it will be extremely hard for a power block to bully an HQ owner out of a lower quality Outland zone.

In addition to that, through proper balancing of the feature, we will also make sure that we won’t see HQ spam either - while establishing and maintaining an HQ will be possible, you will not see them spammed around the map.

We’re looking forward to seeing how this new feature will destabilise the existing order of things and breathe new life into the power dynamics in the Outlands. Starting with the next Season, guilds will be able to qualify for an HQ Hideout which can then be placed once the new Update is released.

The good news is that you won’t have to wait for an entire 3-month Season. We’re not quite ready to release everything at the end of this Season, but we’re planning on running a shortened Season 14 to make the qualification process as exciting as possible and get these new features to you as soon as we can. More details on the upcoming Season schedule will be released soon.

Also starting that Season, a new line of artifact ingredients will begin dropping from mobs all over Albion. You’ll want to hold on to these, as they belong to one of the features we’ve teased but not quite revealed in the last roadmap video: A whole new line of warrior weapons is coming to Albion Online (the first in a set of three new weapon lines planned for upcoming updates)! What these are and how they play will be revealed soon, but in the meantime you can begin collecting the ingredients to be ready to craft the artifact weapons from this line once the new Update has released.

As you can tell, there’s a lot to talk about for the upcoming update.
  • The new world colours and graphics are beginning to shape up and we can already tell how they’ll improve the look and feel of Albion’s Open World
  • The new level layouts are coming together, offering much clearer and more distinct maps for you to explore
  • Many mobs are receiving a visual upgrade and additional abilities and animations, and the Open- World-Mob Upgrade System is currently being tested, tweaked and balanced
  • Guild Points have now been worked out in detail and broken into three distinct concepts: Might, Favor and the “Conqueror’s Challenge”. These three allow players to participate in Outlands and full-loot PvP activities to gain progress towards their own Season goal while at the same time pushing their guild’s success in the Season.
  • Outlands Treasures are coming along and the Power Vortex feature has been split into two distinct features: Power Vortices which yield “Power Crystals” (used to boost Territories) and those which yield “Power Cores” (used to boost Hideouts and maintain Hideout HQs). These features will offer spontaneous small scale PvP in the Outlands, as they pop up spontaneously and are only visible to players nearby
  • Work on the static dungeons is proceeding and they have already received multiple new entrances each, allowing players to enter from surrounding regions. We’re also working on the overhaul of mobs and their rewards as well as integrating the new upgrade system into these Dungeons as well
We hope you’re as excited about the coming of a new Open World experience, a new power balance and an entirely new weapon line as we are and look forward to sharing more details on all these features as well as the new HQ Hideouts and Weapon Line soon!

- Robin ‘Eltharyon’ Henkys

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