Viewers of AlbionTV know Shozen as one of the game's most prolific and experienced casters, who (along with his co-host Lewpac) has covered Albion's GvG scene for years. Beginning on May 20, he'll be joining Bogul (a fellow Albion expert, currently in charge of the Albion Online Wiki) for the AO Daily Show, a daily rundown of all things Albion that focuses on a broad range of topics. We talked to him about his history as a caster, his new show, and the current state of the game.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get into streaming?
I've worked in video games and entertainment for most of my life. A little over two years ago while on a break, Bogul approached me about creating an Albion Online news show. At the time I was enjoying Albion Online a lot and wanted to do something, anything to make the game better. After a couple months of prep, Albion Informer was born – to this day the greatest Albion Online podcast ever produced in English. After about six months we were no longer able to find the time necessary to keep Albion Informer alive.
Evoque, knowing AI was ending, asked me to join the AlbionTV team and I happily accepted. After a rocky start, AlbionTV found its footing and we have continued to grow for the last year. Now with the success of not only AlbionTV but also the game itself, we have the opportunity to revive Albion Informer as the AO Daily Show.
The inaugural episodes of the new show launch this week. What's the show all about?
The players. While each day we will be discussing official and unofficial news, recent and upcoming GvGs, alliance and guild changes, and gameplay, the show is fundamentally about the players and their stories. All the news, drama, and in-depth analysis is there for one reason: to give us an excuse to talk about the players that make up this crazy world of Albion Online.
What topics are you starting out with for the show? What topics do you hope to cover in the future?
As we do the groundwork of establishing the show, we'll often give spotlights to players. As we get further into it, we’ll get more into mechanics and do feature highlights, but early on we want to focus on the players and tell their stories. This week we’ll start off by doing spotlights on some of the most prominent Twitch streamers and content creators.
How have the game and community changed since you started hosting AlbionTV?
For starters, it got much bigger. For about the last year both the game population and our audience have been growing and they're really in a good place now.
Aside from the population changes, I just recently looked back at our launch week shows and I was shocked at how few GvGs there used to be. I was amazed at how Crystal Realm Battles and practice GvGs have now enabled more and more players to engage with the GvG process, and as a result the amount of highly competitive teams has increased a lot. That's what has changed the most.
What is your take on the state of the game since the free-to-play launch? Where do you see the game going in the future?
I’m excited to see a new audience play a more polished version of Albion. When Albion launched, it was not the same game as it is today. It's just plain better; the meta is much more diverse. I feel like I say this every month, but i think it's true.
The game has gotten new features at a good rate, and the majority have been well received. The last few patches have done a fantastic job of adding some of the most requested quality-of-life features, and it's made for a more enjoyable experience. I’m happy to be a part of that.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time hosting AlbionTV?
During one of the early invasions, two guild leaders met in the middle of a massive ZvZ with literally hundreds of players. They faced off in the middle of a bridge, and it seemed like their guilds made room for them to fight 1v1 amidst a massive zerg. It was a true "Clash of Titans" moment.