Played some hours in the last days and am reaching tier 4. No PvP yet, and no organized PvE either, but have visited dungeons solo.
Albion Online Beta Feedback
Some beta feedback from me:
Played some hours in the last days and am reaching tier 4. No PvP yet, and no organized PvE either, but have visited dungeons solo. Stayed in the green zone. Mainly developing my island right now, and farming the necessary ressources to upgrade the buildings.
the graphic looks good (I hate the colorful comic look a la WoW!), is good enough to play the game and doesn't use a lot of ressources.
Since I am challanged in colour vision, I have a problem to find tier 3 trees and rocks. The ore patches look all too similar and are very hard to distinguish. Here I would prefer better, more distinct, models.
I like the perspective, but I would prefer in a lot of situations to turn the camera. Not the viewing angle, but the direction I am looking, so I can look at stuff obscured by rocks, trees or buildings from the other side.
When using an android device, the ability buttons on the right side will be obscured by the pop up text and are no longer usable. Please, move the popup, or make the display of help texts an option, which can be switched off.
Some windows (e.g. chest inventory) have a very small scroll slider. Which isn't a problem on a PC, but difficult to operate on a tablet or phone. And while you are fixing this, you could make this window a little bigger or, preferably, resizeble.
There is not much support of PvE cooperation. In Guild Wars 2 every player involved in a kill will get his own loot and XP, so no kill stealing, but faster mob farming. That leads to a very different playstyle, where you help players in trouble when passing by. You could include the possibility to revive other players too!
I have yet not discovered a possibility to get information about things (mobs, ressources, ...) without selecting them and simultaniously triggering an action (See my point about distinct models above). So if I want information about a mob, I have to attack them. Better would be to allow selecting an object without action. The active mode (fight/build/harvest/...) is then activated by clicking a "Use" button. This behaviour should be selectable by an option.
I like, that logistics plays a vital role because there is no central bank account and no central auction house. Additionally I like, that equipment has to be crafted, rather than acquired from loot. And I like, that new players are valuable for their guild, because low tier ressources are need all the way up. A big *thumbs up!* for all three decisions! This is what makes your game unique for me!
Fast travel is a tricky subject. If it is too cheap, it will prevent logistics being a problem (which is good, becaus it forces player cooperation!). If it's too expensive or non existant, it may limit players to participate in events. Suggestion: the travel fee could be calculated on weight transported with a geometric rise of cost. So the travel of a naked hero is cheap, an equiped hero just affordable and a large amount of trade goods restrictively expensive. Or just eliminate fast travel completely, which will make the world feel much larger and forces the players to make a decision for a base of operations. Forcing players to make decisions is not a bad idea!
Allow guilds to place a market on their held territory, so that they can establish some market activity to attract other players, earn income from trading and build up a settlement around it. Additionally put a not unsignificant trading fee on the NPC market, so that players or guilds can compete with that.
Maybe allow players to hire a shopkeeper for a production building. So the building can be used to sell finished products too, not only to loan out the facility for third party production. But since this will devaluate the market, it's a tricky subject.
Maybe think about adding an inventory to crafting buildings. This is a quality of life suggestion because it will allow to store intermediate products.
Bulding on the personal island is needlessly restrictive. Why not giving the player just patches of land, which can be used for every purpose? Suggestion: use the planted fields (e.g. 1x1 carrot field) as a base unit. Everything else uses larger areas to build (2x2 for small, 3x3 for normal, 4x4 for large buildings). Give the player with each island upgrade some additional land. The buildable area should be oddly shaped (so player decisions are forced!) but the use of any patch should not be restricted. So if a player wants farming, she should be allowed to use all the land to do that.
Alternatively a player should be allowed to place mainly buildings on the land, and only using some leftover 1x1 patches to grow stuff. And why need pastures/kennels to be square? Allow odd shapes, but make the player pay for each side of a square he put's a fence on. An animal can then only be placed, when the land is completely sourrounded by a fence.
Remove the seed trader from the personal island and place him into the cities next to the island vendor. Then allow players to make a decision, wether to harvest fruits or seeds (lots, not only one) from a field and allow seeds and fruits to be sold by players. This market should be player driven too.
This idea can be expanded to animals too, by forcing the player to decide, wether she wants to harvest the animal (for food or as mount) or use it to breed. There should be a player driven market for young animals too.
Play style, the grind and the business model:
You need to make a decision: either be buy to play (and then sell some cosmetic stuff in the cash shop) or be free to play (and then sell pay2win stuff). At the moment, you do the worst of both worlds (entry fee plus premium time). This will kill your game faster than any bad decision in other areas.
If you need some ideas for the cash shop: add colours and equipment customization to the game (see Guild Wars 1&2). Allow growing of ingrediences and production of colours by players. Make the outcome of production chance based, and additionally sell all colours in the cash shop.
Tied to this is the amount of grind. Right now, there is a lot of grind. There is grind necessary to build stuff, and to be allowed to use better stuff. There are three winning factors to a conflict in a game, that should be analyzed seperately:
ressources to build stuff
experience of the hero to use stuff
skill of the player
For me personally, it is very OK to grind ressources to build stuff, but only moderately OK to grind XP to use better equipment. When you want as many players as possible to participate in PvP, especially GvG, you should allow them to wear competitive stuff fast. I personally would prefer the better player to win, but the equipment (and the numbers of players) making a difference. In a logistics driven game, the primary problem should be to get the stuff to the place where it is needed, not to be able to wear it then.
On then other hand, when your business model is based on selling premium time, you have to put a high hurdle with a lot of pain there. So the question for you is: should the best player win, or should the player with the most time in game and/or most real cash spend win?
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