I would like to start by saying how much fun Albion is, and I love everything currently being implemented.
Albion Online: Variety in PVE Combat
I would like to start by saying how much fun Albion is, and I love everything currently being implemented. The major feedback I wish to provide is that some of the solo PVE experiences can fall into a repetitive cycle, and I have some ideas for content that might provide short term challenges for gamers that compliment the current design. I am sure the new world and questing system will be addressing some of the following observations.
Content/Goals: Currently, almost all of the PVE goals in Albion Online are long-term, such as achieving a certain level or upgrading your house. These are great as they are and very fun to pursue. However, there are some moments when I do not have a specific goal within reach, or I am waiting for a party to log on to make progress. At other times, I just want to do something fun that I don't normally do to reach my goals. At the moment, my primary goal when leaving town is either gathering fame/resources or PKing. None of this is bad, but it can lead towards stagnant gameplay for PVE players as I kill the same 50th mob the same way I did last time. Things like portals and chests help break this up, but I think adding a few pleasant surprises would create a more memorable gaming experience for those in between goals.
Routine Combat Experience: In my experience, the combat experience tends to be a player running in circles killing the same mobs with the same skills. There is a small amount of exploration with practicing combos, but it quickly becomes repetitive. To add to this, there are very few random PVE drops from combat that matter in Albion. It's usually a slow gathering of materials to push towards a goal. When these two things combine, it can take something that should be exciting--combat!--and make it expected and normal. I think injecting some entertaining activities alongside combat that allow for randomness would break up this cycle and make each map feel even more alive. They could also be used to create some competition between players that is not combat-based. This would allow the combat to stay as it is, but provide an extra layer of gameplay that would entertain players and possibly add more focal points to the PVP scene.
Buff Points: Open world maps are currently very straightforward with few risk or reward scenarios beyond PVP. I think an extra layer of gameplay where the player tries to collect orbs that are randomly placed in the world could be interesting. They could even vary in type of power up, possibly matching the setting for added story content. In terms of assets, they could be as simple as glowing orbs or pedestals that would be collected. They could only apply to PVE if they were too difficult to balance for PVP. It could also be cool if you collected orbs then returned them to a pedestal in order to receive the buff. The more orbs you have, the greater the buff. However, if you get killed before turning in, the other player gets your orbs. The key to that would be having multiple turn-in points to avoid camping.
Treasure Hunt: These could be random points that start a chain of collections that result in finding an artifact or something useful. I don't think it needs to be too riddle-focused, but just a unique set of points the player runs to in order to acquire treasure (that are clear on the map). This sounds simple, but I would totally do it if I acquired a "quest" or treasure map that started the chain. It would vary up my grinding and allow me to have the "Oh cool!" moment I don't have very often in the PVE experience. An alternative idea would be mounds that are hidden randomly throughout the world that contain a treasure. Once collected, the treasure would not appear there again except by chance. This would give players an incentive to explore the land, even lands they have traveled many times.
Random Rewards: I think cosmetic items are more than enough for these side quests (possibly not tradeable). It could be something simple like a piece of furniture or a cool pose/emote the character can perform. Overwatch's success shows the viability of only offering cool extras as rewards. The game play is fun, and the rewards are frosting on top of that cake. The silly little mobile games that become huge hits also show the viability of simple mini-games that keep people coming back. Albion has such a fun art style, and--while I love the serious nature of settling a new continent and achieving great goals--I would also welcome a few silly side-games that compliment the already fantastic game design. Of course, this may not be the game the developers want to make, and that is totally understandable. These are just some of my ideas, and I hope they are helpful. I look forward to seeing where the developers take the game! Thanks for all of the hard work you put into this world, and for providing a forum for players to share suggestions.
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