Hideo's blog

  • Interview with Skytea, guild leader of Vendetta

    Interview with Skytea, guild leader of Vendetta

    (special for GoHa.Ru)

    Русскоязычную версию интервью вы можете прочитать у нас на портале по этой ссылке.

    Hideo: Hello, Skytea. Why do you prefer Albion?

    Skytea: In short, Albion online provides a competitive full loot PvP-experience. Too many games nowadays do not provide gameplay, that takes to account risk vs reward mechanics. This results in making your game mindless and boring. Albion Online provides a unique interactive sandbox universe where your gameplay matters.

    Hideo: Please tell me about your guild. Did you play before other games, or Vendetta was created only here?

    Skytea: Initially, Vendetta was an Albion Online only guild, solely to become a top guild when Albion Online is fully release. However, our guild has grown into a community where we play other games together while we wait to play Albion online.

    Hideo: I know you have a twin brother Teasky, do you manage Vendetta together?

    Skytea: Yes we manage the guild together although I’m the better player!

    Hideo: What is the organizational structure of the guild? Do you support the const-party or GvG-party structure?

    Skytea: I’m not too sure what those guild structures mean, but Vendetta uses a system that promotes advancing the guild before yourself. This means that we always have high tax rates and require all members to donate all gathered mats to the guild. This is so we can provide our guild-members with large amount of high tier gear and creates unity within the guild. However, it has it’s drawbacks of people not pulling their fair-share of work but we try to get rid of those guys.

    Hideo: In your guild topic you're talking about the Vendetta main goal: "To be a top PvP guild when the game gets released". Can we now talk about your guild as the absolute "number one" in the Albion PvP-content?

    Skytea: Our main goal is actually to have fun while staying competitive and efficient as possible. If we can achieve top tier status while doing so everyone is happy.

    Hideo: One of the requirements to be a part of your guild is "Don't be a noob". Does it mean that you are not helping newcomers?

    Skytea: Actually, we do accept new players who never played Albion Online to the guild. But we define noob as someone who never wants to better himself as a player.

    Hideo: Many players praise you for the ability to lead in GvG. Tell me please, in what games you've got experience of party leading and do you play in MOBA-games?

    Skytea: Ever since I was a kid, I’ve only played games for their PvP-content, because I enjoyed the competitive aspect. I reached the Diamond ladder in League of Legends and shot-called and lead in countless other guilds in other games such as Runescape.

    Hideo: I meet a lot of envy to Vendetta in-game. Is it difficult to be the leader of the "number one" guild?

    Skytea: Yes, the main thing is that you cannot do it yourself. There is not enough time in the day to focus on every aspect of the guild which is why you need a good team to help carry the burden. I believe this is why we are such a strong guild because we have a good leadership team which I am thankful for.

    Hideo: Do you know anything about the scandals in Insane and Hammer and Sickle, and about the creation of new russian-speaking guild, Nilfgaard? Do you consider any of russian-speaking guilds as rivals?

    Skytea: Insane was known for their guild leader Stormshooter. He has always been a good leader to fight against. Hammer and Sickle, is a guild that is now strong in all aspects of the game mainly because of their experience and presence which is why we consider them rivals. All I know about Nilfgaard is that Stormshooter is creating it but I am unsure of the specifics.

    Hideo: Until last test, I thought that the policy of Vendetta was stand alone. However, you have created VM2 as a counter alliance Ace. Tell me please how do you plan your policy in Albion in future.

    Skytea: Vendetta always comes into alpha tests with no alliances planned. In the last alpha test we were outnumbered by the Ace alliance 1 to 4 as well as fighting many other guilds including Hammer and Sickle. No one wants to fight a two-front war so we decided to ally up to defeat a common enemy.

    Hideo: We have seen how many players moved from Vendetta in Finstack on the last alpha. What are the relations between these guilds?

    Skytea: Being an international guild, we attract players from all over the world. We allied with Finstack because they were a new guild requesting mentorship. Our Finnish members were the main guys who helped them out and grew attached to them so they decided to join. We left in good terms so there is no hard feelings but we are not allied with Finstack anymore. We are neutral towards eachother.

    Hideo: On Winter Alpha 2015, in GvG and open world PvP, players of Finstack and Vendetta used many times improperly working skills: Flee, Blizzard. Do you support abusing of the game mechanics to win in battle?

    Skytea: I can’t speak for Finstack, but in Vendetta we had no one in our guild who unlocked blizzard or used Flee boots. We do not condone bug abusing to win battles, however this is an Alpha test and when we come across bugs we immediately send feedback to the devs and this may require trying to recreate the bug to confirm its origins.

    Hideo: Do you like the system of learning points and crafting endurance?

    Skytea: I haven’t tried it out yet or gotten enough information about it to comment.

    Hideo: What are the goals of Vendetta for the next test?

    Skytea: Like I said before our goal is to always have fun, as well as test out the game and provide good feedback to the devs. We want to be a major player in the PvP in the aspect for the game so watch out for some PvP albion videos because we should be in a lot of them.

    Hideo: Thank you very much for the interview and good luck on Summer Alpha!

    Skytea: Thanks for the interview and I hope everyone has fun next test.
  • Inteview with Sandbox Interactive about their plans for upcoming CBT part one

    Inteview with Sandbox Interactive about their plans for upcoming CBT

    (special for GoHa.Ru)

    Русскоязычную версию интервью вы можете прочитать у нас на портале по этой ссылке.

    Hideo: Hello, Sandbox Interactive. What are your impressions of last Alpha? Did all pass as you expected?

    Sandbox Interactive: Hello and thanks for the opportunity to talk to you today! Overall, the Summer Alpha was really great for us. With almost 20,000 players, more than ever before participated in the 4-week event. Besides, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the Founders, who were really amazing in testing Albion Online in-and-out. Especially the new content, such as the hellgates or missions were received quite well, which encourages us to also expand on these concepts in the future. Maybe even more importantly, thanks to the players’ testing, we’ve gathered a lot of data and feedback that will help us to further improve the game. For example, we noticed that we still have some homework to do when it comes to balancing, which is something that we’ll certainly improve until the Closed Beta. In general, our fighting mechanics are definitely moving into the right direction but we’ll continue to make this a key focus area in order to deliver a truly great experience for you there.

    Hideo: As you wrote in the announcements, this Alpha was the last one and then will be Closed Beta Test. Have you already scheduled the date of CBT?

    Sandbox Interactive: Yes, the next test that we plan to run will be Closed Beta, which will start in November this year. There is no exact date set when the test will start. We will make announcement on our forums and website once we know more.

    Hideo: Returning to the Summer Alpha events, players have seen completely new system of character progress. This allowed to the players of top guilds and the owners of multiple accounts quickly unlock a certain build and win battles with overgear help. Is this a normal situation, and how will it be changed in the future?

    Sandbox Interactive: Focussing on certain aspects of progression will always allow you to use gear earlier than people who are progressing everything at once. That said we are restricting the effectiveness of outgearing your opponent by flattening the power curve (being a tier above will not be as strong as it is now) and introducing gear scaling in yellow zones (which will reduce effectiveness of high end equipment in these zones).

    Hideo: In the Roadmap to Closed Beta, you wrote about reducing the Learning Points value. In this way there is a question of their necessity, because it is similar to the Winter Alpha grinding system. Maybe, it is better to complicate the grinding system for long lvl-up?

    Sandbox Interactive: Essentially, with the introduction of the learning points system, we want to manage the progress of different player groups in-game a little. We know that there are players who dedicate some 10+ hours to Albion Online per day and we really feel honoured by their commitment to the game. At the same time, there are also people who, e.g. due to work of family duties, will only be able to spend 1-2 hours per day on playing Albion Online. Our goal is that this second group will still be able to somewhat compete with the rest and won’t be left behind completely. After this first trial with the learning points however, we’ve noticed that the system rather worked against the players with a high grind instead of supporting the players with less time. We don’t want to limit the progression speed in the future anymore though, so for the Closed Beta, the concept will be adjusted and improved. In the end, players then will rather be able to spend learning points in order to progress faster through the destiny board. Every player with a premium account will get the same amount of learning points per day, so players with a high time investment can spend as many as those with a lower one. At the same time, those players who really want to grind on more are not held back from it - they can simply craft/fight/farm their way to the next tier without the limitation of learning points.

    Hideo: How do you imagine the character progression in game without levels? Should it be EvE time-system or Lineage II grind? After what period of time on CBT will the average Albion Online player be able to unlock Tier IV, Tier V, Tier VI?

    Sandbox Interactive: As described above, we’re aiming at a mixture of the systems. Grinding can increase the speed with which you progress, but does not mean you can completely leave behind other players. We consider Tier V to be the first real PVP Tier, therefore we want to make it accessible to players within a reasonable amount of time. After that, progression should slow down significantly, as you’re developing into hardcore PvP gear. We have not decided not exact times yet.

    Hideo: I was wondered that crafting endurance and building capacity have no influence in the game. While preparing to the Summer Alpha, we have developed a strategy of claiming more territories for building, but in fact there was no need to do it, because in practice even 100 people can successfully exist in the same area. What will be the role of crafting endurance and building capacity in the future?

    Sandbox Interactive: For crafting endurance we will introduce new system: we will have a soft endurance limit, where you can spend endurance to reduce crafting costs & increased chance of higher quality items. Capacity will be rebalanced to become more meaningful than it currently is.
  • Inteview with Sandbox Interactive about their plans for upcoming CBT part two

    Hideo: About open world PvP, after implementing of the new anti-zerg mechanics it is more difficult to fight for the castle. Even a small group can protect the castle. But the profit of the castle owning is still unclear. Yes, relics are needed for craft, but the castle can be easy conquered at night time and anybody can collect these relics. Do you plan to change the mechanics of sieges and the role of the castle?

    Sandbox Interactive: Yes, the castles will become home of the largest relic chests and relic chests will be changed to spawn at fixed times during the day. This means it is critically important to hold the castles at these times if you want to access the relic chests. Generally the castles are still in the game the way they are mostly because players like them and we have the code- but in the long run we plan to rework the whole idea of castle sieges.

    Hideo: And another question, relating to anti-zerg. What about AoE-skills? Is it a normal situation when one skill (Meteor) kills 10 people in full loot game?

    Sandbox Interactive: No. We want to have reasons for players not to stack up too much, but we will re-evaluate the amount of escalation damage dealt by AoE spells.

    Hideo: In the Roadmap to Summer Alpha you promised to create events with chests. However, they have not been implemented. Do you plan to add them on CBT?

    Sandbox Interactive: Yes, the castle is actually the biggest chest. Smaller types of chests will be placed throughout the PvP zones.

    Hideo: The hellgates are amazing! In addition to the GvG we have another 5vs5 battle. Do you plan to implement some gear checking before entering the hellgate? For honest fight?

    Sandbox Interactive: We will have a new system which calculates the strength of an item, and in some areas the system will scale your items down to reduce the threat of high level players running to areas meant for lower levels to score easy kills. Some hellgates are a possible candidate for such scaling. In the other direction, the strength of the gatekeeper acts as a gear check.

    Hideo: On Winter Alpha one of the best places for guild silver farming was Necropolis. However, we have not seen Necropolis on Summer Alpha. Does this mean that we will not see this dungeon in the future?

    Sandbox Interactive: This dungeon was cut since the boss (the harvester) was not complete.

    Hideo: On the last test you added two super raid bosses for the 12 people raiding group. But the profit of defeating them is not entirely clear. It is very difficult to kill them and raiding group receives the silver only. Will you review the award? Can we expect to see in Albion Online high Tier enchanted equipment or relic equipment in the loot from the bosses?

    Sandbox Interactive: Runes are a rare resources used in crafting which only comes from bosses. The raid bosses will be a primary source for these.

    Hideo: In the Roadmap to Closed Beta, you talked that at the moment you saw in Albion Online 19 quite viable classes. Could you name a few of them?

    Sandbox Interactive: These “classes” were more of game styles we wish to support, for example being a glass cannon is a game style we want to support however we feel did not properly exist.

    Hideo: Why did you decide to change the system of resists? On Winter Alpha resists were in all parts of equipment, but on Summer Alpha they were only in the torso.

    Sandbox Interactive: We disliked the fact that people were all running around with even protections, this made people very uniform and people quickly developed a sense of “this is the only way to gear” which removed the interesting choice in picking armors.

    Hideo: In the future we will take an even stronger step against that by having Light, Medium & Heavy armor (on all types).

    Sandbox Interactive: The differences are that Heavy armor will offer the most protections while Light armor offers a boost to attacks, crowd control & spell damage. This way we hope to see people creating unique builds which are geared towards specific purposes such as “Glass cannon”, etc.

    Hideo: Do you plan to reconsider the situation with heavy helmet? Other helmets can not be compared with it, because heavy helmets have Cleanse.

    Sandbox Interactive: Entire combat is getting a rehaul. The helmets will have a very different role from what they had before. The “Strong” rescue spells will now be located on the armors instead of the helmets. The helmets are getting more of “utility” spells which can be anything from a Strong self heal with a very long cooldown to something as familiar to a channeled energy regen. In the future we will be more careful with “absolute” spells, the cleanse on the helmets were very strong since they made you immortal for 3 seconds.

    Hideo: Our visitors are very interested in the question of what will be in the game shop. Could you tell about it? Will I be able to sell items from the game shop on in-game auctions?

    Sandbox Interactive: Yes, there will be Shop available on the website, where players will be able to buy Gold (as well as Founder packs). Gold therefore could be used to purchase Premium account in the game client, as well as used for trading it for Silver.

    Hideo: Will the CBT-key be possible to get for free? Do you plan to distribute some free keys for well-known guilds?

    Sandbox Interactive: We might introduce Invite keys/access at some point. We yet though can’t reveal much details about it.
  • Hideo wrote:

    We consider Tier V to be the first real PVP Tier, therefore we want to make it accessible to players within a reasonable amount of time. After that, progression should slow down significantly, as you’re developing into hardcore PvP gear. We have not decided not exact times yet.

    this makes me kinda sad, thinking about it.

    The mentioned Tier is T5, wich is equal to t4.2. It is the same gear as last alpha, wich everyone that was located in red/yellow zones was forced to use, because of the silver/resource/tax problems. Trying to aim for higher gear was just blocked by the pure amount of cost difference inbetween the zones. Red guilds were not affected by this and could progress without that blockage, creating gear that was not affordable for non red player. Will this result in the same as last alpha, that all the casuals are forced again to use the lowest tier possible, because going higher is just not cost efficient in a actual battle, since your gear is more valuable than the enemies ones, even tho it is the same power level? Even lowering the power curve, there will be still mutliple power level differences inbetween top guilds and normal player wich will result in non balanced battles.
  • In the upcoming Closed Beta test, gear will be free to craft ( zero silver cost ). But RED zone guilds will always have an advantage over non red zone guilds. They have easy access to high tier resources, where others won't. If you want to stay competitive with these RED zone guilds, you will have to live in the RED zone as they choose to.