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For those who are itching to play an MMO on Linux but don't want to pay a subscription, Albion Online just opened up the flood gates.

Unlike a lot of MMOs Albion Online doesn't have traditional classes, quests and it's very much a sandbox do whatever you want experience. It's a little odd and focused a lot on player versus player combat, although the recent Oberon update made improvements for PvE and there's a lot of features for bigger groups of players and Guilds.

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As a reminder, they don't seem to be doing this due to a low player-base. In fact, when they talked about the free to play release recently they actually showed the game to be growing. Even before the most recent patch, you can clearly see a slow build up of daily online users:

Worth noting that while it's free, there's still a premium subscription option which basically speeds up your progress in the game. This can be paid with real money or in-game money too which is quite nice but without it the game is pretty slow going.

If the game becomes ridiculously busy, they will have a queue system with premium users given "preferential access".

Today's free to play release also had a patch, find the notes on that here. If you want to see what they have planned for future updates, they also have a roadmap up here.

You can get it directly from the developer or from Steam. It doesn't yet show as free on Steam but should do sometime soon.

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Tags: Free Game, MMO, Unity
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marcelomendes 11 Apr, 2019
Did a quicky try yesterday late night when the queues were gone. Didn't finish the tutorial yet, but one thing that annoyed me was the locked camera, also the point-and-go Diablo movement style is not really my cup of tea, I'm more to the hack and slash of Guild Wars 2. I'll give another go this weekend, because it is a native linux game, but I doubt it gets me hooked just as much as GW2.

Last edited by marcelomendes on 11 April 2019 at 12:58 pm UTC
Asu 11 Apr, 2019
it runs super smooth on linux. So NWN got a very good competitor. We are getting there with RPGs.
richip 12 Apr, 2019
Quoting: Asuit runs super smooth on linux. So NWN got a very good competitor. We are getting there with RPGs.
I think I'll go back to NWN after over half a year of playing Albion. Albion was a grind and hard to survive solo. Bit the bullet and went with a guild (wasn't fun. Went through several and finding a matching guild is harder than finding a matching partner). With the quality issues now with f2p, I think I'll go back to NWN and see if I can DM again and create content.
ElectricPrism 12 Apr, 2019
DOTA2 has always been Free To Play. Honestly, I choose to be more optimistic this could easily be a good move at solidifying things. It makes it draw a lot more interest thats for sure.
chris.echoz 12 Apr, 2019
Quoting: Kimyrielle
Quoting: crumblesFree to play has ruined too many games that I used to care about and I have yet to see one that doesn't go down the drain once it goes free to play.

Yes and no. The biggest danger of pure F2P (not B2P) games is that they get designed from the ground up to be unfun, boring and tedious after the first few hours of trying them out - unless you pay up. Almost 100% of all mobile games are designed that way, which why I never play any.
There are certainly some F2P MMOs falling in that category. The most famous case being SWTOR. There is like no way whatsoever you can play that game without still being subscribed to it and have any fun with it. Or Neverwinter (the Perfect World one, not Neverwinter Nights), which is also a good example of making people run into (pay)walls at every corner.

However, I have seen several MMOs converting from P2P to full F2P that managed to do so in a fashion that still left the game in an enjoyable fashion even for players that spend very little or even nothing at all. Star Trek Online and Champions Online (funnily enough also by Perfect World) are very playable if you don't insist on having the absolute best available stuff at any time. Same goes for Rift. I didn't play it in a while, but for a while Skyforge was fun, too.

IMHO the best middle ground in terms of business models is B2P, but as can be seen in the case of this game, it doesn't work so well for niche games (and while this chart is probably meant to demonstrate how healthy the game is, but 10k-20k players a day is pretty much the equivalent of "dead" as far as MMOs go).
Guild Wars 2 and Elder Scrolls Online use the B2P model with great success, but both aren't exactly niche games (they measure daily attendance in hundreds of thousands, so...). The charm of B2P is that devs don't absolute HAVE to put annoying dis-features into the game and force people to buy them away, since they get at least some revenue up front from every player.

Btw, most of the games I listed here work very well in WINE, with very little or no glitches. So it's not that Albion is the only choice if you want to play a MMO on Linux. It's thankfully not. ;)
Add World of Warcraft to the list of MMOs that work exceptionally well in Wine. (And has been working well for a very long time.)
Projectile Vomit 15 Apr, 2019
I've experience a crash, any time I click play.
Vax 16 Apr, 2019
I've had a pretty good time with this game. I noticed that people who subscribe to it during the change to F2P get some snazzy items so I gave 'em some cash about 2 weeks out. Now I have some sort of nifty purple ghost wolf mount! But, yeah, it's pretty fun! It could use better in-game direction for new players but overall I've been having a blast. Check it out! It's like a hybrid of Torchlight 2 and Runescape.
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