See what Korn has to say about this topic.

Posted by Shakul57 2 months ago

Hi all,

Having the ability to fast travel via teleport, or at least teleport back to a location that you are bound to or have recently visited is commonplace in almost all MMORPGs. It is a great quality of life feature as it gets rid of unnecessary travel times (people sometimes refer to this as a “horse riding” or “walking simulator”.)

Now, as many of you know, the reason why Albion does not have such a feature has to do with it’s risk vs reward design, in particular when it comes to transportation of items and material being a major part of its game economy.

We have thought about this time and time again and believe that we might have found a concept for a new feature we want to present to you here and gain your feedback.

Here is how it would work:
  • When entering a city or hideout, you get the ability to teleport back to the said city or hideout until you enter another. There is no way to manually influence this. Your home binding also does not matter.
  • This teleport is an ability with a significant cast time and a significant cooldown, and it is subject to certain restrictions, as follows:
    • If you pick up items from a storage chest, bank, market place or receive items from another player outside of a city or hideout, the ability to teleport is lost until you enter a city or hideout(hence, you cannot use it for transportation)
      • The ability is not lost if you pick up loot from a loot chest or from killed players. The 30% gear trash rate on death makes sure that it’s not really worth using this as an exploit for fast transport.
    • The teleport will be temporarily disabled there are too many other players close to you. This means that it won’t work if you are in a zerg or a large group. This makes sure that the teleport cannot be used as a tactical tool in zerg vs zerg fights.
    • The teleport can only be used out of combat, in the open world or Roads of Avalon. This means you cannot use it while inside a dungeon.
We think these restrictions would allow us to have the convenience of a town portal feature while making sure that the risks associated with transport and travelling in general remain in place.

What would be the impact on gameplay here?
The design is aimed at small scale and solo play. People will be able to go into the open world, do their gathering and PvE and then teleport back to where they started, cutting down unnecessary (and potentially boring) travel time. This is a huge convenience gain.
For gankers, it means that ganking people on their way back from an excursion will become less common.
On the other hand, we expect this change to make the Outlands significantly more active leading to a lot more action overall.
The change will also encourage gankers to go out into the world to find targets as opposed to trying to block or camp certain routes, which should lead to more dynamic encounters.

In general, with this change we intend to continue on the path started with the Lands Awakened update, which is to encourage open world activity as much as possible. The feature will also work really well for solo players and small groups in the Roads of Avalon.
We are aware that this sounds like a drastic change, but believe that this will integrate itself nicely in the outworld experience and be a massive gain in accessibility and quality of life for Outlands gameplay.

We are looking forward to your feedback

Posted by Korn 2 months ago (Source)

Hey there and thanks for the feedback so far.

First of all, note that the concept above does not help people who want to transport gear from a city or hideout to another city or hideout. Hence, it has 0 impact on Albion's local economy or the importance of transport. This is extremely important for us.

Now, let's look at the intended scenario. I'm a solo or small group player located in a city (or hideout) and want to do an open world gathering or PvE run and then return back to where I started from. Here is how this would work:
  1. I start in a city and venture out into the Outlands
  2. Once I am at my desired location, I gather and/or PvE
  3. Once my inventory is full (or once I want to do something else) I go back to the city that I came from. It is this step that gets cut short by the "town portal" feature.
So what about the risk levels in each step? The risk consist of my gear that I am wearing and the new gear/resources that I am collecting on my trip.

In step 1, my gear at risk is just my starting gear
In step 2, it's my starting gear and the stuff that I have collected until then (say, on average, it's 50% of what I am going to collect)
In step 3, it is my starting gear and 100% of what I collected during my trip.

In terms of time spent for each step (happy to get your input there) it's fair to say that step 2 takes significantly longer than step 1. Let's roughly assume that of the total time spent in the Outlands when going out on one of these solo play sessions, 10% of my time is spent on my way there, 10% on my way back and 80% actually playing (such as 3 minutes traveling there, 24 minutes playing, 3 minutes travelling back)

Even if such a QoL feature would not have an impact on how many players go into the Outlands and how much time they spent there, the risk reduction would only equal to at most 20% of the materials that you loot or gather during your run. (math is a bit more tricky here - average of 50% of your looted gear is at risk 80% of time in step 2 (80*50 = 4000), and 100% of your looted/gathered gear is at risk 10% of the time in step 3 (100*10 = 1000) - if you take step 3 away, it's a 20% reduction of the total (1000 out of a total of 5000). If we assume that on average the gear that you carry in our inventory is worth, say, 50% of the gear that you wear, the overall risk reduction is around 7%

Now, from a ganker's point of view, if the above change results in more than 7% more time spent in the Outlands, it's a clear gain in terms of how much loot from other players is up for grabs. While the loot per successful kill would be slightly lower, there will be far more opportunities to score one.

The added activity in the Outlands - and hence extra ganking opportunities - will easily exceed that number. Here is why:
  • The added convenience and saved time will make the open world more attractive in general. Players who are already regularly playing in the Outlands will on average spend more time in them
  • For newer players - including those who generally like full loot PvP - getting killed on your way back to the city by a large group zone camping is probably the most significant rage quit events in Albion Online right now. Tons of players - a significant amount of who we are sure would have "graduated" to permanent full loot PvP eventually - never got the chance to do so. Note that we consider is part of our key mission to help players as much as we can to make a successful transition from the blue zones to the Outlands - that is why we have yellow zones, a red zone reputation system, faction warfare without full loot, an arena without full loot, and so on. Allowing people to go that path is one of the key reasons why Albion is successful. Every time we succeed in making this work another active Outland player is added to the game.
The above factors combined should easily increase Outland activity by significantly more than the risk reduction due to the added safety.

In addition to that, we prefer organic PvP that happens in the open world when people are out for PvE, PvP, gathering or fighting over objectives, it's more varied and more fun and on average leads to much fairer encounters. We never liked or wanted to encourage static zone camps, it's just an unintended consequence of the cluster system. Mechanics that we introduced to curtail it - such as the shrine system and the attempt to provide lots of entrances to the cities - are unfortunately not that effective.

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