Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The shadow of BDO on Albion Online

As you might have heard, I'm testing Albion Online. Not "playing", since the game is beta, all progression was wiped on March 13 (I started on March 18) and more wipes are probable. While I see great potential in the game, I already see the shadow of Black Desert Online on it. Unlike most people think, Albion isn't like (somewhat) popular PvP games, it's more like the mock PvP BDO. Most importantly, it lacks the rock-paper-scissors aspect of the PvP games. Higher tier armor and weapons are simply better in all aspects. There is no trade-off between cheap, low damage but agile gears vs heavy hitting, slow and expensive ones. A T5 leatheris is faster, stronger, more armored and has more spells than a T4. Players already identify themselves with their gear tier, just look at the "looking for group" channel: "T5 healer needed for blue dungeon".

What does that mean? While low tier hilarity roams might happen, it won't be a viable tactic to fight. Players will focus on upgrades instead of fighting. In BDO, there is node and territory capture, but most people just flat out ignore it and there is no prestige in it. The prestige is in gear, and I expect the same in BDO. While several players will live in unsafe zones, they do so to farm and not to fight. They won't be expansive, won't be aggressive, they will only fight when forced, as fighting wastes precious time that could be spent farming more gear and more skillpoints.

I fear that most players will say "meh" about who owns what territory in the combat zones. Zone owning guilds will be assembled out of convenience, most players will quit under hardship and pick another Tn guild. Guilds want players to generate taxes, players want guilds for the guild fort and crafting island.

Let's add the most problematic BDO parallel: as every piece of gear can be purchased from the marketplace, more silver means more progression. Playing the market - like in every MMO where it exists - is stupidly overpowered. The servers are up for 8 days. There is a "silver looted" toplist, all silver enters the economy via killing humanoid mobs. The #10 looter (out of 38K players) made 1.6M, and I guess he farms a lot. I play for 3 days with zero previous game knowledge and spent lot of time exploring the game before starting trading. My profits are over 1.5M. Another very good reason to just say "meh" about owning territories. However, it seems devs are at least looking into my report on this. What a change!

Finally, there is "gold trading". You can buy gold for real money from the developers and spend it on premium account, which is mandatory for competitive play. You can trade gold for silver with players who wants to play for free. The current ratio is 110, so my precious 1.5M is about 13K gold. You can buy that money for $60. So probably the most "progressed" players will be wallet warriors. It is true that you can kill them and loot their gear, but only if they go anywhere near the PvP zones which they have no reason to since their gear comes from $. They might gank lowbies for a killboard, but avoid any kind of PvP where they can die. It is very possible that the PvP zones will be filled with "free" players who farm their heart out, transport there wares to the safe zones and sell for gold (via silver) to wallet warriors who stay there.

As you can see, these aren't painting a bright future. However "bright future" is a relative term, when BDO, the poster child of mock PvP gear-ugrading game is doing pretty well. So a "bit more relevant PvP than BDO" is actually an improvement.

It is also possible that some controversial group starts a crusade for land, creating a narrative when people fight them not for profit, just because they are mean.


Looch said...

Albion Online puzzles me a lot ... there're few features I love and I look for in any game such as player driven market, free loot etc. but the overall feeling I have it is that what you do Albion Online is meaningless.
With Premium you get free exp and you dont' even need to log in, almost double resources and silver gathering etc.
But most of all, PvP and territory have no meaning besides KB stats and griefing (no need at all to live in PvP conquerable areas besides having a flag on the map) - what a guild can do in his territory/city, any player can do in his own island - market is very stagnant: no rock-paper-scissor means that you could buy/produce tons of items, but only 2/3 sets of them are really viable and bought/sold. AH pre-wipe, and it will be like that again in no time, was horrible ... so again, player driven market is meaningless if people buy/sell/produce only 3 weapons and very same armors.
Ofc there will always be a pletora of casual players which will buy anything ... but that's not really relevant imho.

Anonymous said...

I like it how the devs are saying you can only get rich trading because "not a lot of people do it", and honestly believe the market will get heavily nerfed as soon as they fix the UI.

However, regarding gear progression: if there's full loot in the game, cheaper gear is still useful because it's cheaper.
For instance, in this other game I've played, the winning side usually employed hordes of players in cheap, easy-to-use equipment, to ease funding and training costs.

Not caring about territory is the plague, though. It surprises me that more people in such videogames don't capture land just for the social prestige of owning it.
I mean, people put ridiculous effort into getting, say, higher rankings, or earlier raid clears, or titles, all of which is of even lesser consequence.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: people get higher ranking. GUILDS get territory. The prestige isn't personal.

Lorelei Ierendi said...

"Ofc there will always be a pletora of casual players which will buy anything ... but that's not really relevant imho"

Ignore them at you peril... they are the ones that secure your trading income.

Smokeman said...

I think the "mock PvP" aspect is the only real way to make a game like this and not have it depopulate to a niche game right away. If you force the PvP players to craft, they won't like it. If you force the crafters to PvP, they won't like it.

The problem is "difficulty level." As in there are none with PvP in online games. How long would most people play ... say... Starcraft if the only difficulty level was "Nightmare Mode?" They would get blown off the map and quit.

To counter that, "PvP only" games like LoL have to game it by doing things like putting you in a carry group if you're lagging behind, or assigning you to be the designated carrier if you're ahead of the curve. If you don't do this, the people that suck the most will always be quitting, and no mater how many people quit, there will ALWAYS be a group in the bottom quintile that is always losing.

Anonymous said...

But when a guild clears high-end raid content, each player on the team has claim to the accomplishment. Shouldn't the same be true here?

Anonymous said...


Owning a city territory causes your crafting benches to give you back resources when crafting. This is 44% in the blackzone while game made cities are at 35% and you have to pay taxes if the building is not your own.

This means that by owning a blackzone territory you can undercut the prices of everyone else on the market if you are willing to transport it