I just finished Green zones, stand at T5 armour, t4 armour crafting, t3 resource gathering, refining, and tool crafting
Albion Non-Grind Progression Content & Suggestion
I just finished Green zones, stand at T5 armour, t4 armour crafting, t3 resource gathering, refining, and tool crafting, and feel burned out by the enormous amount of grinding I have to do.
I think there needs to be a greater diversity of content available to progress your character to a) break up the repetitive grind, and b) prevent the game from becoming just more work in your day.
So some ideas I believe will work are:
1) Quests: Quests need to include escort missions (solo or groups), puzzles (riddles, or special minigames), operating siege vehicles or catapults, backstory (dialogue-focused, or a type of QTE), occasional cutscenes (everyone loves cutscenes), faction reputation quests (have a faction-specific theme associated with how you complete quests; Royal Army can include defending an outpost (wave survival), while Royal Wagoners can have you riding shotgun (literally) on a wagon protecting it from oncoming bandits). These are just various questing systems I've seen in other MMOs that challenge the player, and are hence replayable, as opposed to giving someone 4 hours to do the same thing they just did 5 minutes ago.
2) Rewards: There has to be a reward for doing an activity,not just the activity itself. Cosmetic rewards (despite albion being low-rez) could be an interesting way for players to show off their achievements, and create a drive to do certain content. (i.e. If I see someone with a dragon mount, I will be very jealous and try to obtain it).
Cosmetics could come in the form of gear appearance (fiery, icy, nature special effects etc.), mounts (dragons, different creatures, different mount armours, different saddles etc), pets (everyone loves pets), Legendary items (with exclusive abilities or special effects), and even exclusive buildings for either your private island or guild territories. These could then feature as RNG dungeon drops, faction reputation rewards, or even pvp ratings rewards (see below).
3) PvP Battlegrounds: Firstly, Albion's controls and combat scream for queueable moba arenas, which would prove great if people just want some pvp action, and not have to wait for the next guild conquest (especially those who can't make guild schedules). Battlegrounds could also feature capture the flag, domination, team deathmatch, and even branch out into 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and create a competitive scene through pvp ratings. And for the fun of it, have siege engines and bombs to destroy an opponent's base to create a more "sandbox" feel to the game.
4) PvE content: There is the bread-and-butter solution of having more dungeons, raids, and world bosses with interesting abilities to challenge the player, but what if you had sandbox-y interactive "war zones" where you can man catapults, use your crafting skills to build barricades and defences, and are constantly fighting against a complex A.I opponent (a bit like RTS strategy games where an A.I will amass its forces to attack you, but here you only control your character, and have to work with others to defend the area). (A sandbox wave-survival if you will). I believe that this, along with some dialogue thrown in, would make for a rich rpg experience as you are both immersed and engaged by the world around you.
5) Customization: What the Black Desert online character creation has shown us, is you could literally play with the customisation of your character alone, without even focussing on the game. What Albion could take from this is allowing for greater customisation of your buildings (different colours, different architectures, and for example adding spikes here and there), as this will allow a greater personalisation of your buildings, that do not differ from others' simply by where they are placed. By different architectures I meant you could have chinese-themed buildings, arabian-themed forts, and so on to move away from the solely european-themed game.
6) Lore: Albion online lore feels distinctly generic (royal faction, merlin, morgana, hell demons, undead skeletons; all very basic medieval-themed story elements) which does not help you become immersed as it does not feel "unique" from other games. Instead through dialogue, quests, cutscenes, and other forms of exposition, you could unveil a world with political intrigue, betrayal, greed, courage, cowardice and other elements that make for excellent writing that will peak a player's curiosity in what is happening in the world around them. (my dream is to have Albion Online as a Game of Thrones-esque experience). p.s. I understand Sandbox is releasing a lore-based novel, however lore has to also be in the game for it to have relevance to the game.
7) Clear Antagonist: What "World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria" showed us, is that players sense a necessity to play the game when they are trying to fight an antagonist. Mists of Pandaria began with no clear antagonist or direction, and was one of the major complaints the community had at its launch. If players do not understand "what they are doing" or "what their goal is", then they begin to lose interest.
Compared to "World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich king" where the main antagonist would constantly appear throughout the game (directly or through their actions) and remind you of their presence, you always felt a clear purpose for your being in that continent of Northrend.
As such Albion online should have a clear antagonist, or present a clear goal from the get go for the players to work towards. Otherwise, as is the case with me, I got to the end of the green zones and asked "now what"? No introduction to yellow or red zones, or why they are important is available (except external sites that in effect take you away from the game). So the reason to keep playing the game is very important to established from an early stage.
Those are my ideas that in my opinion will make Albion Online a much more enjoyable game to play. I'm sure the devs have their own course they wish to take with the game, but these ideas reflect what I believe to be Albion's potential.
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