The news room! (Index of news posts)

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  • The news room! (Index of news posts)

    Welcome to the news room!
    In here I will be posting the more informal News & Announcements that we at Sandbox Interactive want to bring you.
    Note: The big announcements will still be posted in this forum and as always on the news section here:

    Each new post will be of something new such as a cool .gif, an article or a YouTube video. There will also be a link to a thread where you, the players, can discuss it and share your thoughts about what is being posted.
    Some posts might just be a single picture from somewhere in the office while other posts might be much longer and talking about upcoming features.

  • Want to discuss this news post in the forums? Then go HERE.

    Hello, hello!

    Today I bring you the first of many less formal news updates from all of us at Sandbox Interactive. This is something I have volunteered to do on top of my regular duties and it is not something I am trained for so please bear with me and feel free to give me as much feedback as you can on how I can improve. I love talking to the community and I hope I can improve these news post over time.

    In this post we'll be talking about combat. It's one of many important things that needs to be done well in an MMORPG. Personally, I find that combat is the most important thing but that is just my own humble opinion. I know it does matter a lot to a large amount of you all. I care deeply for the PvP and for the PvP to be good the combat needs to be fun, right? The question is: how do we make combat more fun?

    Here at SI we're lucky to have a very passionate dev team and our lead Game Designers spends a lot of time on the skills in the game. Just recently we've worked on almost all of the skills in the game and there's been hundreds that have been changed or remade completely. We're still testing things out, tweaking numbers and deciding on what weapon should have what skills. It's been a huge undertaking and @Eltharyon our Lead Game Designer was recently, together with Empa, at the office until 06:00 in the morning working on these skills. I also talk with Empa daily about new abilities and we come up with a lot of cool ideas all the time. The thing is though that it is a lot easier to come up with these "cool" abilities than it is to implement them. Great progress is being made and one of the major things I want to show you guys today is something that I personally think is just totally cool.

    Skill shots!

    It wasn't very long ago when this idea was brought up and our Technical Director, David, was quite skeptical. I thought that was it back then. However, not too long after Empa posts a picture titled sorrydavid.gif in our chat group and blows my mind. We had our very first skill shot in the game. It was and they still are quite crude and things are still very placeholder and will need a lot more work most likely. However, right now they are actually working and one of the latest ones look really sweet (Arcane Orb).

    Important note: The major thing that I want you guys to take note of is that this is still a huge Work in Progress and something that was only intended to be added to mobs. We're working on making it a viable thing to be added as usable abilities for players as well but this is not a guarantee. The problem is making it work nicely on higher ping levels. At our offices when we run the game on 5-15 ping it of course works quite nicely though.

    Here's some gif's of some of our skill shots in action (Note that some of these .gif's are a bit too sped up and the skill shots won't travel just that fast in-game):

    My personal favorite so far, the Arcane Orb (name made up by me right now as we've not decided what it will be called)

    A slow moving Area of Effect magic attack.

    The first weapons that comes to mind for me when I hear skill shots is the Bow & Crossbow. I really think Archers need some love and this is just one of the cool things that we want to add to archer playstyle.

    Empa has a frightening love for slaying bunnies ._.

    As you can see there is still work to be done for this combat feature. The progress so far is very exciting though, don't you think? We want to make combat more fun and PvP more skillful and that is why we're constantly thinking of new things to add to the game and trying to see how far we can go. Some things might just not work and make the final cut but that doesn't mean we can't add something else that will be great fun in the end as well. For a future update I want to discuss more about our thoughts around combat and get some quotes from our veteran Game Designers, talk about our ideas & visions for things that could be added. I'd also like to open up discussion with you guys about what your number one thing is that you would like to see added to combat in Albion Online.

    For now this ends our very first less formal news post. I hope that you approved and that you enjoyed getting a glimpse of what we're working on here. I hope to bring you more things like this in the future. We'll always keep bringing you major news on finished features but isn't it also cool to see things that is being worked on. This way we can get your input as well. So, please, take some time to let us know your thoughts about this if you'd like. Do you like the idea of having skill shots in Albion Online? Do you have any ideas for skill shots that we could add and how do you think I did on my very first news post :saint: ? pleasesayIdidgoodorbercilakwilldestroyme.

    Want to discuss this news post in the forums? Then go HERE.

  • Want to talk about this "episode" of tiny news? Then go to the thread HERE.

    Good evening!

    These are some short news items that I wanted to bring you tonight.

    Anyways, let's begin!

    Guild vs Guild Feature Hightlight:
    The first tiny news of today is actually quite huge! Earlier today our lovely Community Manager @Beelzebabb brought us the latest Feature Highlight YouTube video. In the video we get to see some of our Game Developers talk about one of my favorite features of the game, Guild vs Guild PvP! Check it out below:

    You can post your thoughts & feelings about the video in its own thread HERE.

    News Room is a hit!
    Hurray! The News Room seems to be a hit and because of this it is already getting upgraded. The way I will bring you these news in the near future is going to be changed into a type of Developer Blog integrated here in the forum. The way we will implement this will be by adding another tab next to the Forum tab at the top of the forums. Something like this:

    By going there you will be able to see all of the news post and have a comment field at the bottom of each one where you can easily talk to me or other devs. Overall we think this will be a much better way to communicate with you and we hope you will think so to. Again, thanks for being so positive about this initiative, we love talking to you.

    Hellgate Feature Hightlight is coming next week!
    Another exciting thing I want to tell you guys is that there is another epic Feature Highlight video coming out next week already!

    Next week we are bringing you the Hellgate Feature Highlight video and on top of that I will be making a video for you guys where I go into the details of the Hellgates.
    I will be showing you a little playthrough, explain how things work and in general just talk about the details a bit more. If you have suggestions for what you'd like to see being showcased in my detailed feature presentation then let me know!

    @Eltharyon our Lead Game Designer on set at the shooting of the Hellgate Trailer.

    The hellgates is a really fun feature that has become my favorite area of Albion Online visually and there's some great loot as well as exciting PvP encounters to be had in there.
    The date for the Hellgate announcement is Wednesday next week so stay tuned.

    How to Photoshop?
    I wanna end things on a lighthearted note so, guys, tell me... what do you think of the tiny news icon at the top? Did you see that the bunny is holding a newspaper? I had to make it myself and I'm no pro so I was struggling for a while.

    Here's the first iteration of the logo that I made earlier today:

    I posted it in the Sandbox Interactive chat room and asked if they could see that the bunny was holding a newspaper: These were the responses:

    Empa: My first thought was xbox 360
    Surtr: Newspaper wasn't my first thought either but it clicked pretty quick
    Other dev: 1. Strange Phone on his ear 2. WII controller 3. Lightsaber (deactivated) ^_^
    : :/

    So I didn't give up and I tried again! Here's the second one and my colleagues reaction:

    Empa: Toilet paper.
    Surtr: Rofl, much better.
    Empa again: Getting closer, hm, toilet paper or a diaper. I can't decide.
    Me: Damn it.

    So the logo you see at the top is the third try and I was happy with this one and decided to not let Empa shoot me down again. Instead I wanna know what you guys think :saint: !

    Closing words:
    We'll end Tiny News here for this time. Next time we might have already moved on to the new Developer Blog style of posting which I hope you will enjoy!

    Want to talk about this "episode" of tiny news? Then go to the thread HERE.

  • Hello, hello!

    Today we're bringing you our latest Feature Highlight video and this time we're showing you Hellgates! You can check out the trailer by going to its thread located HERE. If you stay in this thread then I will be going over the Hellgate feature in more detail to answer any questions you might have after seeing the trailer. Any comments on this feature can be posted in the main Hellgate thread that I linked just above. I won't be creating a community discussion thread for this news post as the main thread for this feature posted by nogare can be used instead :) Let’s begin by looking at the feature first though:

    A hell cluster is a dungeon which holds a total of 10 players. However, only a group of five players can enter the hell cluster together which means that there can be two groups of 5 players in each group inside a hell cluster. So how do you enter? To be able to enter the hell cluster you first need to travel around the world until you find a Gatekeeper. A vast majority of the Gatekeepers will be found in the Yellow & Red Skull PvP clusters but may on occasion appear in the safe clusters as well. However, this is on very rare occasions and is subject to change.

    Hellgate creation detailed:
    Currently, if you enter a cluster with a Gatekeeper present you will be notified in two ways. The first way is through the chat window notifying you that:

    By looking at the mini-map you will also be able to see the location of the Gatekeeper if there is one in the current cluster:

    The gatekeeper himself!

    Ideally you would want to engage this demon with a group of five but if you are strong enough there is nothing keeping you from trying it with a smaller group either. Upon slaying the demon a portal will open up leading you into hell:

    When this happens the system rolls the chance for this Hellgate to be connected to a matching hell cluster. If the result is to connect it to an existing hell cluster the system will then check if there are any matches and connect it to one. If no match is found or if the system rolls for this portal to open up a new hell cluster then that is precisely what will happen.

    Hellgate loot rules:

    • The Hellgate is locked to the group which dealt the most amount of damage to the Gatekeeper
    • Only players that are a part of that group is allowed to interact with it
    • Any other player who tries to interact with the Hellgate will get an overhead message saying "Hellgate protected"
    Hell cluster matching rules:
    • Hell clusters have exit slots for Hellgates to connect to
    • The maximum amount of Hellgates allowed to connect to a hell cluster is a variable we set up in the Game Data (example: HellgateLimit="2")
    Hellgates can connect to these exit slots unless:It is occupied by another Hellgate
    • The distance between the Hellgates are not long enough (Read "distance rule explained" below)
    • The dungeon boss has been killed
    • The Hellgate limit has been reached in the hell cluster
    • The hell cluster join time limit has been reached (A value definied in minutes that we set up in the Game Data)
    Distance rule explained:

    1. Hell cluster gets created from a Hellgate in cluster A. (The HellgateMininmumDistance is set to 2)
    2. Hell clusters created in B & C are not matchable since cluster A only has 1 cluster gate between them
    3. Hell cluster created in D & F are matchable with the Hellgate in cluster A since there are at least 2 cluster gates separating cluster A from D & F
    4. Any Hellgates created even further out would also be a valid Hellgate to connect to
    When players click the Hellgate to enter it if there is still room available (if it is full they are notified that “Hellgate is not stable and you are unable to enter”) they will begin a timer that once completed transports them into the hell cluster. Upon entering hell they will be force flagged to red as this is a PvP/PvE dungeon. Upon exiting a hell cluster the players will have a Hellgate Exit Buff which will give them increased run speed and invisibility for a while. This is too combat “gate camping”.

    Once inside both groups will start progressing through the dungeon, fighting against the demons that dwell there. At the end of the dungeon is the Demon Lord boss that holds valuable loot and is also the key to exiting hell. Only by killing him can you open up the portal to the surface. However, even before you reach the boss there is a possibility to engage the enemy group and fight to the death.

    This is the current layout of the Dungeon:

    Hell cluster time limit:
    • All hell clusters have a time limit
    • If the time limit is reached the players are teleported back out to the Hellgate that the players used to enter the hell cluster
    • The timer is visible in the UI for all players inside the hell cluster
    • In the chat there's a chat notification every 5 minutes and at the last minute.


    Q: How often do the Gatekeepers spawn in the world?
    A: The Gatekeepers will spawn in waves for example every 30-120 minutes. The exact time is as of yet not decided but it will be in rapid intervals.

    Q: Won’t Hellgate camping be a problem?
    A: Right now we are not so worried about the Hellgates being camped too much. There is a high probability that no one will come back at all since they could have been killed by the enemy group. This means you could stand for 25-30 minutes in an area waiting in complete vain. Also upon exiting as previously mentioned the players will be invisible with faster run speed than normal for a while so hunting them down could prove very tricky.If the group inside the Hell cluster has the possibility to they could also send a scout to the exit and see if the coast is clear and if it is not they could send greater numbers to attack the gate campers. Don’t forget either that the Hellgate portal is only open for a very brief period of time so it’s not so easy for groups to roam around just in search of already opened portals.If it ends up being a problem there’s always solutions to this so for now we want to see how things play out in-game in the current iteration.

    Q: What exactly happens if I get killed by a player or a mob in the hell cluster?
    A: Unless someone in your group has the resurrection spell you will die and be teleported out and your remaining (if any) party members will have to pick up your stuff. If the Hellgate has closed by the time you died then there is no way back!

    Q: What if several ungrouped players are killing a gatekeeper. Who gets to enter the portal?
    A: In this case it will work the same as mob loot and the player who did the most damage will get to enter the portal.

    Q: What tier are the hell mobs at?
    A: As of right now they are tier IV and tuned for groups of 5 but this is possibly subject to change.

    The ultimate goal that we want to achieve with the Hellgate Feature is to bring in more incentive for the smaller groups in the game to get out there and roam around. Previously there hasn't been a reason for larger groups to split up into smaller ones but we hope that with the introduction of Hellgates we will see more small scale activity in the PvP areas where smaller groups will roam around demon hunting.

    I hope this has cleared things up for you guys at least a little and that you found this feature explanation readable. I’m still completely new to bringing you guys news so please let me know how I did and how I can improve. I will keep working hard on making the News Room better and better! Below you can find a short video that I made showcasing the different steps to take if you want to find and complete the Hell Dungeon.

  • Good afternoon everyone!

    Yesterday we brought you the Hellgate Feature Trailer & Detailed Explanation which you can check out just above this post.

    Today I just wanted to show off a short video from last weeks private test. Last week I invited some people from the community to try out a lot of new abilities that we've changed the values of. We're constantly tweaking numbers, trying out new spells to see if they make sense in the game, work well, are fun to use and so on. Since everyone at the office are always very busy working on the game the best way to test these things is by inviting our players to try it. It would take away a lot of development time if we made every employee log on to help test this ;)

    The testing went well, we learned a lot and the PvP was also a lot of fun. We're still working on numbers and a majority of the visuals that you can see are placeholder effects or a work in progress. Later on in development I would love to show off some video or .gif's of these spells in action as well.

    Here's the video:

    Here you can discuss this installment of Tiny News: Some Footage from last Fridays test

  • Hi everyone!

    Last week on Friday the 12th of June I organized a private test again. As you saw in my last Tiny News post we had a PvP test just recently but we wanted to do another one as abilities constantly need tuning and testing to see what place they are in and what needs to be done. The test went very well and it was a lot of fun to watch the two groups duke it out. Here's a video of two 10vs10 fights that I edited together for you. I hope you enjoy watching it and in the thread that I link to below I would love to hear what you think!

    I also want to show you this hilarious video by the guild Hammer & Sickle showing their prophecy of day one of the Summer Alpha:

    Discuss this installment of Tiny News HERE.

  • Today we launched our latest content update!

    Some of the highlights of it are:
    • Added four new safe zone clusters, to the south-west and east of the map. These contain higher tier Heretics, and grant access to new group dungeons
    • Added two new yellow zone clusters, to the west of the map, containing Keepers
    • Added nine new red zone clusters, one to the west containing lower tier Disciples of Morgana, and eight in the north containing high-tier Disciples
    • Added a new Morgana raid, featuring an entirely new (and somewhat scary) boss
    • Every character has been gifted 1000 additional learning points, in order to make it easier to plunder the new high-tier regions!

    For the full list of changes see the changelog available in the launcher!

    The new Morgana Raid is a very exciting new high-end raid dungeon called Darkhall. It features a completely new boss that should be very challenging and has some really cool mechanics. We're excited to see who will manage to defeat it first!

    Here's a sneak peek at the Prince of Morgana:

    I want to take a second to just say thank you to all of our users who have been doing a great job at reporting bugs in-game via the #bug chat command as well as here on our forums in the bug section. If you haven't yet please have a look at our Bug Reporting Guidelines and if you find something that's not right let us know about it and we'll do our best to fix it as soon as possible!

    That's all for this update. The News Room has been a bit quiet recently but that's not because of a lack of news but simply because there's so much work to do now that the Summer Alpha is active. I hope you're enjoying yourself in Albion Online. See you soon!