Who is the target audience for Albion Online

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    • Who is the target audience for Albion Online

      Who is this game for

      Flashback to 2014, alpha emails are going out for a game called Albion Online. As an old UO player, it was hitting all the right notes. Sure the alpha was rough around the edges, as alpha's are, but overall it was an adventure filled with PvP and communities banding together to survive a harsh and punishing world.

      All it needed was polishing and additional content to make the world feel alive. So into hibernation I went, playing other games and waiting.

      Fast forward to today.

      It's been a month of final beta, and I've dedicated as much free time as I have available to playing the game, and checking forums/change history. I've tried putting in my 2 cents on popular topics, and have tried to maintain a positive attitude in-game as I test. One month of this is enough for me.

      Where has the harsh and punishing world from Alpha gone.
      Current state of final beta & Way Forward
      This joke/parody comic is so spot on, I guess this makes me a whiner too

      It feels like they shifted who the target audience is to draw in more players, and in the process had to make core changes instead of content additions and polishing with their dev time. This has resulted a boring, grindy game filled with safe zones, little content, and a terrible risk/reward balance. I can't think of a single thing Albion is doing better than other games on the market, probably because it can't seem to decide what kind of players/community they want to build on.

      I personally hate LP, but maybe they introduced it so I can park my character with the hope of the game eventually becoming fun again. Unfortunately, I have the feeling I'm no longer the target audience anymore, so I wonder if that day will actually come. Back into hibernation I go.

      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von Pasky ()

    • Pasky schrieb:

      It feels like they shifted who the target audience is to draw in more players, and in the process had to make core changes instead of content additions and polishing with their dev time. This has resulted a boring, grindy game filled with safe zones, little content, and a terrible risk/reward balance. I can't think of a single thing Albion is doing better than other games on the market, probably because it can't seem to decide what kind of players/community they want to build on.

      I personally hate LP, but maybe they introduced it so I can park my character with the hope of the game eventually becoming fun again. Unfortunately, I have the feeling I'm no longer the target audience anymore, so I wonder if that day will actually come. Back into hibernation I go.
      Spot on, dude! Was thinking the same and asked myself "did your perception of FUN change, or did the target group of the game change?"
    • Archiemedis schrieb:

      Pasky schrieb:

      It feels like they shifted who the target audience is to draw in more players, and in the process had to make core changes instead of content additions and polishing with their dev time. This has resulted a boring, grindy game filled with safe zones, little content, and a terrible risk/reward balance. I can't think of a single thing Albion is doing better than other games on the market, probably because it can't seem to decide what kind of players/community they want to build on.

      I personally hate LP, but maybe they introduced it so I can park my character with the hope of the game eventually becoming fun again. Unfortunately, I have the feeling I'm no longer the target audience anymore, so I wonder if that day will actually come. Back into hibernation I go.
      Spot on, dude! Was thinking the same and asked myself "did your perception of FUN change, or did the target group of the game change?"
      My take on this is the same unless proved otherwise, SBI started as an hardcore focused group of enthusiasts, got lucky with an interesting grow, expand and refined over time what it was a raw concept to cater a larger playerbase, in the process while focusing still on hardcore elements, compromises needed to be made, compromises that are not seen in the right light. They could have chosen to go with a truly hardcore game, low dedicated fanbase asking for subscription and low chances to grow or enlarge the potential playerbase with a still hardcore but more forgiving environment and a different business model to grow faster under the right circumstances if the product will be satisfactory to more people than the initial target market. Obviously in the process will upset some people, but the game is still hardcore enough compared to the average offering in the market, and perhaps if they get the balance and more things right in the last few patches before live, it could be a success for most part.
    • Hi all,

      I know this is Forum PvP, however, I do want to share my thoughts and understand the sentiment better:

      Between Beta 1 and Final Beta, the only thing that could be considered "less hardcore" is the crime and reputation system. Nothing else has changed on that front.

      Now, the crime and reputation systems main goal is actually to reduce mindless "kill anyone on sight because I can" and to reduce zerging in red zones. You still can, but you have to live with the consequences. It has been quite successful at that, though it does need some fine tuning. Our policy on the casual vs hardcore debate has been in place since we first introduced yellow and red zones (which I think was around 2 years ago).

      We substantially expanded the size of black zones - which did have unintended conquences which will be addressed.

      Now, during final beta:
      • We will bring back GvG to yellow and red
      • We will rework the outlands to be far more exciting, with a different layout and clear PvP hotspots similar to beta 1 and with guilds from different time zones being able to fight each other
      • We will buff the rewards for PvP objectives
      • We will shift a good chunk of the economic focus from gathering to PvP/PvE, such that both activities are needed
      Post release (or possibly during final beta), we will
      • Introduce faction warfare to red zones
      • Introduce capturable open world buildings / resource extractors to black zones
      • Introduce a PvP Arena for practice matches and player run challenges/tournaments
      If you have the impression that our focus has somewhat shifted in the past months, I can assure you that this is not the case.

      All the best,
      Korn
    • Thank you for the reply @Korn

      I actually didn't play beta 1, last version of the game I played was earlier alpha, I've been hitting this final beta hard to get prepped for launch.

      Your proposed changes are definitely needed, I absolutely am interested in them. I think those post release additions need to be in game before launch as well and hope you test them during this beta. It will definitely add more excitement to the game, and I look forward to logging in and testing them when they're patched in.

      A big concern is the concentration of players in green and yellow zones, too many of them and the rewards for them being far too great. There should be a tutorial/lowbie zone where you get the feel of the game, then are brought into the world to progress. The way risk / reward and maps are designed currently, it doesn't encourage new players to progress past yellow zones, if anything it punishes them due to the greatly increased risk but not greatly increased rewards of venturing beyond yellow.

      In a lot of ways the current zone design reminds me of when Ultima Online introduced Trammel, a mirrored world where you couldn't pvp/steal from other players. It split the playerbase, gathering/crafting became boring grinds and pvp'ers didn't have people to murder or anti-pk.
    • Pasky schrieb:

      .......
      It split the playerbase, gathering/crafting became boring grinds and pvp'ers didn't have people to murder or anti-pk.
      I think developing around the idea that we are going to "feed" players to pkers is setting yourself up for absolute failure.
      If you have no intent of fighting then you shouldn't be forced to (ex: feed gatherers to pkers, feed solo/small groups to zergs).
      Everyone in a dangerous zone should be there ready to fight, its their choice to be there and their choice to fight. (with a chance to win that fight).

      The theory behind that is, as a gamer you have things you enjoy and find fun and things you do not enjoy. We all play games to enjoy ourselves and have fun or as an escape from reality for awhile.
      If you do not want to fight, why play a game that forces you to do so? There are many options that dont force you to on the market.
      Once you begin forcing people to do things they do not enjoy, they quit playing.

      How many times does it take you getting kicked in the balls before you decide not to go back to where you got kicked in the balls?

      Forced content always fails in basically every mmo that tries it.

      They should be focusing on ways to attract and retain as many play-styles (including as many paying customers) into the game as possible in order to be a successful business.
    • the thing is its not forced content, it is THE content. Player interaction. In UO, there were no safe zones outside town, and you had a hard cap on skills, so a gatherer absolutely was limited in combat prowess vs a full fledged combat character. Because of this you made friends, enemies, experienced loss and sweet victories. You'd form guilds and protect territory for your friends.

      This is very much the premise of albion as well, and alpha felt equally dangerous. Not to mention gatherers have the benefit of no skill hard cap like in UO, so they are capable of defending themselves more effectively, and you can load up on escape/mobility as an option as well.

      As a player you're inclined to do what's most effective, and right now there's far too many safe zones allowing players to progress. The risk vs reward between safe and pvp is off balance and leads to boring, safe progression that deters from a world that would otherwise be ripe with conflict, opportunity, and player interaction. Is a split population looking for different things from the game, so much like what killed UO
    • Farming schrieb:

      Pasky schrieb:

      .......
      It split the playerbase, gathering/crafting became boring grinds and pvp'ers didn't have people to murder or anti-pk.
      I think developing around the idea that we are going to "feed" players to pkers is setting yourself up for absolute failure.If you have no intent of fighting then you shouldn't be forced to (ex: feed gatherers to pkers, feed solo/small groups to zergs).
      Everyone in a dangerous zone should be there ready to fight, its their choice to be there and their choice to fight. (with a chance to win that fight).

      The theory behind that is, as a gamer you have things you enjoy and find fun and things you do not enjoy. We all play games to enjoy ourselves and have fun or as an escape from reality for awhile.
      If you do not want to fight, why play a game that forces you to do so? There are many options that dont force you to on the market.
      Once you begin forcing people to do things they do not enjoy, they quit playing.

      How many times does it take you getting kicked in the balls before you decide not to go back to where you got kicked in the balls?

      Forced content always fails in basically every mmo that tries it.

      They should be focusing on ways to attract and retain as many play-styles (including as many paying customers) into the game as possible in order to be a successful business.
      From "Hardcore" vs "Casual" Debate - Our Stance:


      Korn schrieb:

      3. No "forcing" players into PvP


      Okay, so you might say: "I agree on point 1. above, but then wouldn't it be great if you forced players to venture into the PvP zones at some point?". The answer to that is no.
      • In general, if you really force a player into some activities that he does not want to do - even though he was quite happy with the stuff which he was already doing - then most likely that player will just quit
      • However, as stated under 1., that player provides a benefit to the overall game world and economy - it much be much better if he stayed even if he'd just stick to "carebear" activities
      • Therefore, we actually want to make sure that there is deep gameplay and lasting fun in all the safe/carebear activities that we provide the players with.
      • Instead of trying to force people into PvP, we actually want to encourge it and provide incentives to do so. See the next point.

    • Pasky schrieb:

      the thing is its not forced content, it is THE content. Player interaction. In UO, there were no safe zones outside town, and you had a hard cap on skills, so a gatherer absolutely was limited in combat prowess vs a full fledged combat character. Because of this you made friends, enemies, experienced loss and sweet victories. You'd form guilds and protect territory for your friends.

      This is very much the premise of albion as well, and alpha felt equally dangerous. Not to mention gatherers have the benefit of no skill hard cap like in UO, so they are capable of defending themselves more effectively, and you can load up on escape/mobility as an option as well.

      As a player you're inclined to do what's most effective, and right now there's far too many safe zones allowing players to progress. The risk vs reward between safe and pvp is off balance and leads to boring, safe progression that deters from a world that would otherwise be ripe with conflict, opportunity, and player interaction. Is a split population looking for different things from the game, so much like what killed UO
      They need to strike balance between opportunity for new players to grow and get ready and opportunity for experienced pvp-ready players. Conflict and opportunity should not come with noob carnage straight off the bat but experienced enough playerbase in order to retain them as they get enough time to understand the game mechanics and offer more balanced fights in skill and gear.

      Devs are professional and have a clear understanding that todays market is different and you cannot cater the playerbase anymore with similar old school experience, recreating exactly the same dynamics of nostalgia. Problem are those old school player that cannot get over with the idea that the marketplace has changed in 20 years, A LOT! This is not UO. This game has a bit of many games. If you want to revive an exact UO experience, grab Unity + Photon + PlayFab and start your own, and let's see how it's going to perform, you can use all those middleware for free, you can develop the full game without pay a dollar, it's never been easier to start an mmo. Well, almost.

      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 2 mal editiert, zuletzt von OneTyper ()

    • Huh, never read that casual vs hardcore post, looks like it was between early alpha and now, which I wasn't around for.

      Reading it now, I absolutely feel like commenting on it. Better late than never I suppose.

      In that post Korn talks about the failures of Mortal Online and Darkfall because they were too hardcore. As someone who played both, and beta tested for mortal, I can tell you the reason wasn't because they were "hardcore".

      Both games had amazing ideas on paper, but the devs had no idea how to execute. Both games were buggy beyond belief, easily hacked, and failed to deliver on a lot of things promised. They were just badly made games, and they did a terrible job and making mechanics fun. Everything was unreasonably grindy, slow, and easily exploited. There was ridiculously long walking/travel time, and you'd go super long periods without even seeing people because of how large the worlds were for the size of the playerbase. The more I talk about the reason they failed, the more it's sounding like the current state of Albion, and it has nothing to do with being "hardcore".

      Early on I heard people reference Albion and comparing it to Ultima, yet in that post I don't see it mentioned. It's too bad, because early alpha definitely had that feel going for it. I guess it really was a philosophy change.

      Instead, it puts EvE on a pedestal for an amazingly successful sandbox that it wants to emulate. Also, copying their plex system, their time based progression, their safe zones. This is just personal opinion, but I don't feel like those things are what makes EvE a good game. From my point of view, the thing that makes EvE successful is its complexity, strategy and strong team/corp play, it's called a spreadsheet simulator for a reason, some people really dig that gameplay.

      So is Albion Online's target audience the EvE player? If so, I don't think any EvE player would ever leave for Albion. It would take a lot more depth and development to come close to EvE, and I just don't think the medieval fantasy genre is one that can compete in that arena like EvE can. If this beta is any indication, I worry about the audience existing at all, or at least staying.

      I can tell you something though, if you made a good true sandbox like UO, there is a solid niche market that is looking for a game. Maybe Shards Online will succeed, and hopefully Crowfall for us old Shadowbane players, play to crush. Either way, I guess I'll wait things out and see if they get better. I hope the content patches come soon and we see those post launch goals hit final beta for a stronger launch.
    • The alphas were better for sure. They were fun. Ive gone from being all in on albion to wondering just how many people really want to pvp. There is a disconnect between the original mission statement of the game and the way the game is being played.

      Ive had a lot of complaints about what this game has turned into, but in the end, I just dont know why I'd play anymore. Its not fun.

      There is no meaningful pvp. Random encounters designed to zerg up on gatherers and rare 5v5s do t do it for me. If the game is about pvp, it should be designed around that. The choices the devs have made have been bipolar at best. The game was great with a healthy red and yellow zone in the alphas. I know they say they are going to put them back...until someone bitches about them anyway. Its like no one ever laid down an initial design plan and followed it.

      I cant see this game possibly surviving the launch of Camelot. All I see when I look at this game now is promises and an effort to get as much cash as possible before the bottom drops out. Either way, LPs are such a bad idea that I cant see myself bothering playing again until LPs and the target audience design are reconsidered. Just waitinv on Camelot now unless by some miracle SI shows me something.
      Unorthodox traveling healer at your service
    • Pasky schrieb:

      Both games had amazing ideas on paper, but the devs had no idea how to execute. Both games were buggy beyond belief, easily hacked, and failed to deliver on a lot of things promised. They were just badly made games, and they did a terrible job and making mechanics fun. Everything was unreasonably grindy, slow, and easily exploited. There was ridiculously long walking/travel time, and you'd go super long periods without even seeing people because of how large the worlds were for the size of the playerbase. The more I talk about the reason they failed, the more it's sounding like the current state of Albion, and it has nothing to do with being "hardcore".
      This This This This This This.

      I dont know where all these ignorant forum warriors got the idea that long quiet walks make something 'hardcore.' Do they even know what hardcore means?!?!? 3 hour walks through empty ass zones with territorys spread so far apart theres no pvp and no reason to gvg isnt hardcore, its boring and shitty.
    • apparently their target audience with the current game setup is

      @NicZa
      @Jonathan_Silverblood
      @Lensar
      @Stormlord
      @most of the guild vendetta that supports all the really really terrible ideas like long long long boring walks. long long long boring grinds for nothing etc etc

      outside of that really no one interested in playing long term what they have made this game into currently.

      I think vendettas secret plan is to try and influence the devs to make the game so boring and awful that everyone leaves and they can be top dog again. Big Fish no pond!
    • Korn schrieb:

      Now, during final beta:

      • We will bring back GvG to yellow and red

      • We will rework the outlands to be far more exciting, with a different layout and clear PvP hotspots similar to beta 1 and with guilds from different time zones being able to fight each other

      • We will buff the rewards for PvP objectives

      • We will shift a good chunk of the economic focus from gathering to PvP/PvE, such that both activities are needed
      Post release (or possibly during final beta), we will

      • Introduce faction warfare to red zones

      • Introduce capturable open world buildings / resource extractors to black zones

      • Introduce a PvP Arena for practice matches and player run challenges/tournaments
      If you have the impression that our focus has somewhat shifted in the past months, I can assure you that this is not the case.
      These are all pvp changes, Korn.

      While AO is a pvp focused game, it was announced to be a sandbox mmo, where CRAFTING, FARMING and GATHERING would be euqually fun and playable...

      They are not.

      You did change plenty of mechanics in these areas: farming got longer grow timers, 100% seed refund, no deep new skill lines / crafting got raped by re roll npc, where it became clear, that your focus was NOT on supporting crafters at that time / gathering became so mandatory and frustrating this beta, that it has been received as a bad game mechanic by nearly all reviews.

      - swappable skills on gear
      - low LP for combat skills
      - gathering hot spots as a concept for more pvp
      - ALT characters
      - pvp players in need of gathering, instead doing what they came here for
      - pve gatherers leaving the game because gathering is not a fun activity

      --> This led me to the conclusion, that your target group shifted.

      There is no deep and fun system for the three named professions. Everything is set in place for alt characters and personal islands. Even if you bring parts of my proposed ideas into the game and introduce life skill armor and make tools with skills or pick aspects of the gathering rework, the game focus still does not feel like it offers a fun experience. While i feel greatful for listening to the feedback, i also shake my head when seeing the executions being done poorly.

      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von Archiemedis ()

    • KissTheRing schrieb:

      apparently their target audience with the current game setup is

      @NicZa
      @Jonathan_Silverblood
      @Lensar
      @Stormlord
      @most of the guild vendetta that supports all the really really terrible ideas like long long long boring walks. long long long boring grinds for nothing etc etc

      outside of that really no one interested in playing long term what they have made this game into currently.

      I think vendettas secret plan is to try and influence the devs to make the game so boring and awful that everyone leaves and they can be top dog again. Big Fish no pond!

      Impatient ADD kids who want to teleport everywhere and have arena-style pvp available 24/7 with the push of a button will probably be happier playing CoD or Overwatch rather than Albion Online.
    • Lensar schrieb:

      KissTheRing schrieb:

      apparently their target audience with the current game setup is

      @NicZa
      @Jonathan_Silverblood
      @Lensar
      @Stormlord
      @most of the guild vendetta that supports all the really really terrible ideas like long long long boring walks. long long long boring grinds for nothing etc etc

      outside of that really no one interested in playing long term what they have made this game into currently.

      I think vendettas secret plan is to try and influence the devs to make the game so boring and awful that everyone leaves and they can be top dog again. Big Fish no pond!
      Impatient ADD kids who want to teleport everywhere and have arena-style pvp available 24/7 with the push of a button will probably be happier playing CoD or Overwatch rather than Albion Online.
      You usually put some taught into your posts. Your dropping the ball here by assuming lens.
      Your wrote your post as if you already knew the finished product (which you might, i know alot of the high end guild members practically have the devs phone numbers and the game is being catered to them), but you cannot say with certainty that one play-style will fit in the end any more than another.
      You can definitely say that for the current build though.
    • The player that matters in the one who pays the bills by buying gold with real money. Anyone else in the game is just there to keep the gold buyers happy and buying more gold.

      The idea is poor people gather and craft weapons for rich people to kill them with while they gather.

      So who is this game for? The ones who pay real money.

      your humble servent
      SamDog