Dev Update: Outland Power Balance, Next Season and Update Progress

    • Can you pay attention to mechanics instead of cosmetics and economy stuff? I mean there are still tons of bugs and they're best seen in corrupted, where you pay attention to every skill you and your opponents use. Terrible desyncs every fight. You made global cooldowns on skills, you made very short time to kill fight dynamics, but at the same time ammount of desyncs is just disappointing. You land the spell, there is visual animation, there is sound, there is a cooldown shown on skill, but then second later it all rolled back. Cancelled cleric cowls (which doesn't have any animation, any cast time), or just the damage being received while you already in cowl. Skill description (broadsword 10 m E skill range, but actually is about 12-13), swords iron will skill in russian translation that "effect is unpurgable for 6 seconds" and nothing said that NOTHING is unpurgable while iron will affected. Opponents chasing you down on the same boots on the same speed but somehow reaching you anyway. Even two fully unequipped heroes in a pvp suddenly get 400 hp difference. Guys what the hell? Pay attention to important things please. It's not about ping, there are other MOBA's like dota where you play on the same NA servers with 140 ping but there are no problems at all. You have the same skill activation sound for tons of skills. Is there really no chance to make them different and noticeable?
    • Eltharyon wrote:

      Hi everyone,

      I’m here to provide a quick update on our development progress and what you can look forward to in the coming weeks and months!

      In our last roadmap update we gave you a first insight into our plans for Albion’s next Content Update. We announced that we’re planning to renew Open World gameplay in Albion Online, and since then, we’ve been working hard on making those plans become a reality. Soon we’ll be ready to begin sharing our progress in a new set of devtalks!

      Next to these planned features, we’ve also looked at the feedback we’ve received on our Roadmap. Many of you asked us to also take a close look at power balance in the Outlands, and so we did.

      The current strategic balance in the Outlands encourages large power blocks to form, and these power blocks in turn have an incentive to discourage conflict and raise a stable income by demanding rental payments from guilds under their protection. Enforcement of rental payments is possible due to the power blocks being extremely dominant in large scale fights on the one hand, and the difficulty of organising enough groups to fight against a power block at the same time on the other hand. The risk of losing one’s Hideout - and the hassle that this comes with - is simply too high for many of them.

      We’ve decided we want to specifically tackle this problem with the upcoming Update by introducing a new feature called “Hideout HQs”.

      To break the rental dynamics, guilds will be able to - with the right effort and subject to restrictions - turn one, and only one, of their Hideouts into a so-called HQ. An HQ is a Hideout that can only be used by guild members and, as long as it is maintained through open world activity, cannot be attacked through CTAs. The effort required to establish and maintain it is based on the quality of the zone the HQ is in.

      In order to be able to establish such a Hideout - if you don’t already have one - guilds who reach a high enough season score in the previous season will be able to instantly complete a Hideout once per season and turn it into an HQ, however, the zone quality in which you can do that will heavily depend on your total score in the previous season. And after you have placed it, you will have to maintain it just the same.

      With the ability to turn Hideouts into HQs, it will be much harder for large power blocks to enforce rental regimes. HQs can still be contested, but that would need to be done through prolonged open world action to make it too hard for the HQ owner to generate enough upkeep for the Hideout. The upkeep will depend on the quality of the zone, hence, it will be extremely hard for a power block to bully an HQ owner out of a lower quality Outland zone.

      In addition to that, through proper balancing of the feature, we will also make sure that we won’t see HQ spam either - while establishing and maintaining an HQ will be possible, you will not see them spammed around the map.

      We’re looking forward to seeing how this new feature will destabilise the existing order of things and breathe new life into the power dynamics in the Outlands. Starting with the next Season, guilds will be able to qualify for an HQ Hideout which can then be placed once the new Update is released.

      The good news is that you won’t have to wait for an entire 3-month Season. We’re not quite ready to release everything at the end of this Season, but we’re planning on running a shortened Season 14 to make the qualification process as exciting as possible and get these new features to you as soon as we can. More details on the upcoming Season schedule will be released soon.

      Also starting that Season, a new line of artifact ingredients will begin dropping from mobs all over Albion. You’ll want to hold on to these, as they belong to one of the features we’ve teased but not quite revealed in the last roadmap video: A whole new line of warrior weapons is coming to Albion Online (the first in a set of three new weapon lines planned for upcoming updates)! What these are and how they play will be revealed soon, but in the meantime you can begin collecting the ingredients to be ready to craft the artifact weapons from this line once the new Update has released.

      As you can tell, there’s a lot to talk about for the upcoming update.
      • The new world colours and graphics are beginning to shape up and we can already tell how they’ll improve the look and feel of Albion’s Open World
      • The new level layouts are coming together, offering much clearer and more distinct maps for you to explore
      • Many mobs are receiving a visual upgrade and additional abilities and animations, and the Open- World-Mob Upgrade System is currently being tested, tweaked and balanced
      • Guild Points have now been worked out in detail and broken into three distinct concepts: Might, Favor and the “Conqueror’s Challenge”. These three allow players to participate in Outlands and full-loot PvP activities to gain progress towards their own Season goal while at the same time pushing their guild’s success in the Season.
      • Outlands Treasures are coming along and the Power Vortex feature has been split into two distinct features: Power Vortices which yield “Power Crystals” (used to boost Territories) and those which yield “Power Cores” (used to boost Hideouts and maintain Hideout HQs). These features will offer spontaneous small scale PvP in the Outlands, as they pop up spontaneously and are only visible to players nearby
      • Work on the static dungeons is proceeding and they have already received multiple new entrances each, allowing players to enter from surrounding regions. We’re also working on the overhaul of mobs and their rewards as well as integrating the new upgrade system into these Dungeons as well
      We hope you’re as excited about the coming of a new Open World experience, a new power balance and an entirely new weapon line as we are and look forward to sharing more details on all these features as well as the new HQ Hideouts and Weapon Line soon!

      - Robin ‘Eltharyon’ Henkys
      Black zone is not Black Zone anymore because of too many HO, Why dont you just limit 1 hideout per zone, dont make it complicated. Bring back the Old black zone content.
    • The HQ will let good zvz guilds get the place which they deserve ignoring diplomacy and those kind of things. I love the HQ possibilities.
      I really believe that this mechanic could make the blackzone game much better and tons of guilds could think about going solo soon. Large groups are going to keep existing for sure but this change brings fresh air.
      The current disarray is the best that we’ve had, the main issue is that alliances split to avoid it which ruins the system. Removing red tags could help with this honestly making their cooperation really harder.
      My alliance was playing under game mechanics without trying to take advantage from this kind of things, the result is that SIX is always with debuff penalty even being outnumbered, same problem with the territory debuff.
      Another thing is the territory value is 0, why should anyone being interested in conquering a territory? Territories need more value to be contested, same issue with outposts.
      Tribute hideout system could improve the territories value if it was automatic so if you conquer a territory you would get the profit from the hideouts living in that map, this thing would encourage the conflict.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Drikk ().

    • How will SBI measure the effectiveness of the proposed outlands changes? The stated intended outcome of the HQ implementation is to reduce the power of the biggest coalitions by providing an alternative to renting. Can SBI commit to reversing course if the proposed outlands changes do not have the intended results after a predetermined amount of time? Would a season be enough time to gather data and decide if the change helped or hurt the outlands?

      Is it appropriate to tie HQ to the prior season's season points when season points are already heavily influenced by the whims of the biggest coalitions? Will SBI be increasing the viability of guilds achieving sufficient season ranks for a HQ without holding territories, fielding a high level crystal team, or mage raiding?

      Is the goal of the HQ to add additional guilds to the black zone directly or is the goal to simply remove one of the few (or many) barriers to existing guilds separating from the coalitions? From the information that is available, it appears that the HQ change doesn't really directly benefit new guilds at all. It also doesn't seem to really benefit guilds all that drastically if they are unable to secure a hideout in a tier 7 or 8 zone.

      Additionally, the existing alliances are already looking to spread out their potential HQs across as many valuable zones as they can in order to permanently secure a foothold. Is there a solution within the proposed system to prevent the HQs from disproportionately benefiting the established guilds? From the limited amount of information we have received, it appears that the system will only allow the current top guilds to secure a HQ in the truly valuable zones while the majority of eligible guilds will be able to secure a HQ in comparatively weak zones.

      Is there a compelling reason to take the existing hierarchy of guilds into account when restricting HQ placement? This seems inconsistent with the recognition that the guilds at the top of the hierarchy pacified the outlands and that it was impractical to wrestle the outlands from their control. It appears to me that the top guilds are the top guilds increasingly because of the flaws of the (soon to be old) hideout and territory system rather than from dominant ZvZ gameplay.
    • Would HQs make more sense if ALL HQs shared the same exact location within the zone. If 7 guilds make redtree their HQ, instead of literring the map with 7 HQs there could be just 1 HQ location which accesses each respective HQ for those 7 guilds.

      HQs don't get attacked or defended so I don't really see an apparent reason why they can't be instanced within the same entrance. Although there may be an issue in how a HO would get promoted to HQ. My guess is that it wouldn't be overly complicated unless a HQ could also be converted back into a HO.
    • 1 HQ/HO per zone. Break the protective clutter that HO spam affords. The security afforded to players in the high density HO zones is simply stupid. The BZ has never been more safe since the introduction of HO.

      The power projection, security, quick access and crafting they afford are the reasons why the rental empires exist in their formats. If SBI truly want to break the rental empire, restrict HOs to 1 per zone. It won't stop rents being paid, but what it will do is undermine a key economic factor of the rental economy.
    • Guys add more PVE content... Make leveling up an spec fun, solo or in group, right now doing the same thing all over again for hours is very annoying, and new ppl quit because of that, I'm a veteran player and I want to play Albion again but when I do 4 hours of those same dungeons I jus want to play another game
    • ambertist wrote:

      Guys add more PVE content... Make leveling up an spec fun, solo or in group, right now doing the same thing all over again for hours is very annoying, and new ppl quit because of that, I'm a veteran player and I want to play Albion again but when I do 4 hours of those same dungeons I jus want to play another game
      Play pvp then? It used to be mainly a pvp game.
    • People understand it is a pvp game. But it also has gathering crafting and pve sections and they deserve some love. Heretic, Keeper and Morgana are cool, but it would really help the game to add some more dung types with some new mobs. Have some new dung types that don't have a safe timer and group dung with multiple entrances to encourage small-scale pvp as well as some more solo types.
      Even a white rose has a black shadow.
    • Open world dungeons take me back to EQ in 99. You set up shop and got to it. I like the idea of them here.

      I really hope this leads to more overworld improvements too. The zones feel like a smattering of mobs most of the time. Update mob camps, make it viable to somewhat fame farm above ground. I do SRDs because they are the best way to spec myself up. Give me a reason to stay above ground.

      Maybe make "mini events” like a heretic invasion in a certain zone and offer increased fame rewards or something. If anyone played RIFT, I'm thinking along those lines, but I'm just trying to throw out ideas.


      Disclosure: I mostly play red zones faction flagged. As much as black zones are better, I don't feel as attached to them.

      I like the idea of being tied to a city and fighting for it. I found it really hard to care about BZ politics. Running solo trade missions has led to some interactions and so far, I'm a fan.

      I just wish Caerleon wasn't such a hard faction to get into, or I'd move in a heartbeat. I love the idea of a bandit faction, but the execution has so many things going against it. I feel like I'd flag and immediately get stepped on upon leaving, and most guilds want large amounts of PvP fame, and I'm not even sure that would solve the "problem."

      Oh well.
    • Ashoracky wrote:

      You didn't mention elite levels at all - does it mean you abandon this idea?
      Hey there,

      the elite spec levels are still part of the coming update, but it is not one of its main features. Note that elite specs will apply to combat only.

      The aim of this feature is to provide new goals for players who have maxed out their current combat lines. Going above 100 spec will be subject to strong diminishing returns (getting to 120 will be extremely hard) and require a significant amount of respec points and some silver. At the same time we will roll out a strong buffs to fame generation in general - in particular, in the open world - which will make it much easier to get from 0 to 100 in the first place. This way, we can make sure that maxed out players have new goals to play towards while still making it easier for new players to catch up.
    • Korn wrote:

      Ashoracky wrote:

      You didn't mention elite levels at all - does it mean you abandon this idea?
      Hey there,
      the elite spec levels are still part of the coming update, but it is not one of its main features. Note that elite specs will apply to combat only.

      The aim of this feature is to provide new goals for players who have maxed out their current combat lines. Going above 100 spec will be subject to strong diminishing returns (getting to 120 will be extremely hard) and require a significant amount of respec points and some silver. At the same time we will roll out a strong buffs to fame generation in general - in particular, in the open world - which will make it much easier to get from 0 to 100 in the first place. This way, we can make sure that maxed out players have new goals to play towards while still making it easier for new players to catch up.
      I hope you do realize that this (new elite levels and way of getting them) just adds a grind and silver sink into the game... Neither new nor veteran players wanna fame farm for months, they wanna have fun in a pvp game - I think this should be your main goal in a designing process as this brings new players to the game and make a growth gamewise...

      Sadly still disappointed with this change!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Ashoracky ().

    • Ashoracky wrote:

      Korn wrote:

      Ashoracky wrote:

      You didn't mention elite levels at all - does it mean you abandon this idea?
      Hey there,the elite spec levels are still part of the coming update, but it is not one of its main features. Note that elite specs will apply to combat only.

      The aim of this feature is to provide new goals for players who have maxed out their current combat lines. Going above 100 spec will be subject to strong diminishing returns (getting to 120 will be extremely hard) and require a significant amount of respec points and some silver. At the same time we will roll out a strong buffs to fame generation in general - in particular, in the open world - which will make it much easier to get from 0 to 100 in the first place. This way, we can make sure that maxed out players have new goals to play towards while still making it easier for new players to catch up.
      I hope you do realize that this (new elite levels and way of getting them) just adds a grind and silver sink into the game... Neither new nor veteran players wanna fame farm for months, they wanna have fun in a pvp game - I think this should be your main goal in a designing process as this brings new players to the game and make a growth gamewise...
      Sadly still disappointed with this change!
      The grind requirement for newer players will be lower due to these changes though, as getting to 100 will be a good deal easier than before. The average IP gap between veteran players and newer players should actually go down as a result of these changes, due to 1-100 being easier and 101-120 being extremely difficult. So, for example (not based on actual numbers, but serves to get the point across), if in the current set-up you have a 70 spec player face a 100 spec player, under the new system, it would be more like 85 spec vs 103 under the new system.
    • Korn wrote:

      Ashoracky wrote:

      Korn wrote:

      Ashoracky wrote:

      You didn't mention elite levels at all - does it mean you abandon this idea?
      Hey there,the elite spec levels are still part of the coming update, but it is not one of its main features. Note that elite specs will apply to combat only.
      The aim of this feature is to provide new goals for players who have maxed out their current combat lines. Going above 100 spec will be subject to strong diminishing returns (getting to 120 will be extremely hard) and require a significant amount of respec points and some silver. At the same time we will roll out a strong buffs to fame generation in general - in particular, in the open world - which will make it much easier to get from 0 to 100 in the first place. This way, we can make sure that maxed out players have new goals to play towards while still making it easier for new players to catch up.
      I hope you do realize that this (new elite levels and way of getting them) just adds a grind and silver sink into the game... Neither new nor veteran players wanna fame farm for months, they wanna have fun in a pvp game - I think this should be your main goal in a designing process as this brings new players to the game and make a growth gamewise...Sadly still disappointed with this change!
      The grind requirement for newer players will be lower due to these changes though, as getting to 100 will be a good deal easier than before. The average IP gap between veteran players and newer players should actually go down as a result of these changes, due to 1-100 being easier and 101-120 being extremely difficult. So, for example (not based on actual numbers, but serves to get the point across), if in the current set-up you have a 70 spec player face a 100 spec player, under the new system, it would be more like 85 spec vs 103 under the new system.
      If your main argument is lowering a gap between new and veteran players then make the 101-120 levels acquired via some unique activities, both pvp and pve. If they are just new-old levels extremely hard to get you are in fact making a gap bigger as whales will fame credit/tome it in a minute. As I said, it's just one of the new silver sink method.