A Letter from Tokyo

  • A Letter from Tokyo


    Dear Albion Online,

    My name is Senjin, I am 1 year old in the world of Albion.
    I only speak Japanese but am huge fan of yours.
    I am not a "shield-masta" anymore because you nerfed all the offhand equipments.
    Could I get my solid kite shield back please?


    It was from my friend. :P
    Is't he playing a Digital TCG? lmao


    I just wanted to give you some feedback according to what I've found in previous tests and impressions I've heard from the Japanese players'community.
    I'm a Japanese who reside in Australia, playing Closed Beta in an American/International guild.
    I've been a founder since the winter alpha 2015.

    First of all, I am very happy that there have been more Japanese founders compared to last year. I see that the community has been gradually growing and getting slightly active.
    Having said that, the total number of Japanese players may not have even reached 30 yet, still a very small minority. (I never know the actual numbers of cause, there are always hidden people.)
    I'm pretty sure more Japanese players will join after the launch of open beta with no wipe.
    Until now, few Japanese players have posted feedback. So, I decided to write this post preliminary with regards to the open beta, hoping that you make this game even more attractive.
    I'm going to represent all Japanese players for 3min.

    # Main part; Pros and Cons of Albion Online to Japanese players #


    I found many players from Japan are UO fans and they like AO in similar way. They love Crafting/Trading oriented games.
    (Ultima Online: In 2003, the number of active Japanese player account for 100,000+. Now it's deserted)

    Some people say they'll play this game for housing (especially for housing in field maps).
    As we all know, land plots had removed from safe-zones. I saw many people complaining about this change.

    I think this game's modern graphics are generally good, though some have said that icons are not so attractive.
    Graphics could be either positive and negative point heavily depending on preference.
    I would say that lack of variation in equipment(visually) is the only problem here.

    Story-less design
    Albion Online doesn't require players to read a lot of stories or quests, and this simplicity turned out to be a merit.
    It somewhat makes it easier for Japanese players to join the game. lol


    1.Language Support
    Generally speaking, Japanese players tend to be pretty bad at English. This is the biggest reason why only a few Japanese are playing Albion Online in present.
    (This is not your fault. But, is Japan out of your target region?)
    Those Japanese who are playing AO are sort of hardcore gamers, they are relatively good at English or crazy(enthusiastic) enough to play MMO without reading.
    I can't just say you should add Japanese translation. I understand that it should be implemented according to your business plan. But, yes, if you happen to be able to add Japanese language to the client, please do so. Then Albion Online will be the best playable sandbox MMO in Japan.

    Beside that, I would like to ask you to add a guild language option "Japanese", so that we can choose it when we create a guild. It should be easy update. :P
    As a side note, I don't find any news about Albion Online on Japanese gamer websites such as "4Gamer.net". So Japanese gamers are not likely to aware of this game.

    2. Majority vs Minority balance
    I saw lot of potential Japanese players asking "Will a solo player/small group survive in AO?"
    Japanese people understand that they are going to be a minor community and are not going to be able to form a guild of 100+ members. (at least in current situation.)
    In the current state, I am forced to just explain to them what they can do in safer places and how difficult it can be to compete with large guilds.
    People get disappointed and will say "What the point of playing this game? What ever I do, I'll just be targeted by big guilds and gankers."
    I'm sad to see these things happening.

    Fear of zergs is not the only problem. Small groups won't have a chance to enjoy territory ownage or GvG. Not affordable at all.
    I'm not saying small groups should be put up as powerful as big guilds. But why don't you make the second league for them?
    You removed housing spaces from safe-zones. Perhaps you could add some small territories and GvG instead?

    I also do not think the game world can accommodate for the entire player community when the number of players increases in next beta or the launch.
    (I don't know if the DEV is planning to install an additional server, or if the world map be expanded greatly)
    Minor groups will be "wiped out" due to the harsh competition. If people know that they won't get to enjoy all the good this game has to offer, they won't join.

    3. PvP enforced
    This part is also very important, since the criticism I observed were highly likely to be about Player Killing. I know that PvE, PvP and Player driven economy are three fundamental elements in Albion Online.
    Japanese players show their enthusiasm towards this "Economy", whereas PvP is the opposite. (and PvE is not perfect, but i trust this will improve over time)
    I've heard that you are trying hard to make PvP interesting. I've read official news and I support DEV's policy. (policy; as you've learnt from EVE online, you are trying to make people gradually enjoy PvP without forcing them)
    Well, although that's great, PvP in it's present IS NOT SOMETHING YOU SAY. You do force people to do PvP in stressful way.

    And more importantly, the PvP contents provided are not much fun. I believe there are at least 4 types of PvP; free PK, Duel,Territory GvG, and Hellgate team battle. Some of them should really be improved.
    Personally, I'm not keen to kill people. For many Japanese gamers, PK is just an annoying feature. But I won't say "PK should be removed" like some other Japanese players suggest.
    I respect the risk vs return game style. And people may enjoy the thrill.

    However absolute Zerg is not fun. I didn't pay money to get possibly raped everyday. In the current game, the majority rules everything and this could happen.
    There may still be some things I can do, but I don't think it's well balanced. Killers gang up and the risk they take has never been greater than mine.
    Solutions available are quite limited. You could say I should also team up with fully geared fellas, but F that, counter-ganking is not something I want to do either as this would be just as enjoyable.

    A suggestion I have is that peaceful players could have their defense and survivability enhanced, while their offensive capabilities are compromised against other players.
    Similar to the territory battle system, aggressive people and peaceful people should be differentiated by some defending bonus(or a similar kind of mechanism).
    For example a non-PvP character could be buffed when escaping or surviving attacks. As a price, this character may be debuffed when attacking other PCs in the field.

    I also have one other alternative; you could make a PvP rating system where being killed by a player of significantly higher rating has less impact,
    or losing to a friendry standing player of significantly lower rating is high risk,

    Duelling is boring. It's only something to kill time. e.g. something to do while waiting for a friend etc.
    It will be better if we can fight 2vs2,larger team battles or a free-for-all "Battle-royal"(5-10 people) style matches could be also fun.

    GvG(5vs5) battle itself looks very interesting. But the problem is that it is too difficult to participate in fights. I've mentioned this point already.

    Hell Gate should have more variation such as maximum 3 people versions.

    4. Movement Control
    We only can control our character with mouse click- no WASD or game-pad. Some Japanese players, I have heard, find this very inconvenient.
    I saw an official comment in a general FAQ that WASD movement is unnecessary.
    We think WASD should be added. Moreover, in my opinion, it would even better if all the combat(at least melee) can be done with keyboard controls.

    Phew X/
    It would take whole Sunday writing this post. I'm not gonna write these kind of long post again. lol
    Thanks for reading. See you in the game world.

    PS. I saw the announcement that the update;Aurelius coming in next week. Let's see how it works.

    Tyrannosaurus-rex / RIP
    お前は すでに 死んでいる

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