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My thoughts on the MMO Albion Online on Linux, many months later

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I’ve been playing Albion Online [Official Site] on and off since November 2015 and since then it has evolved into something much bigger.

Note: Albion Online is in beta and it will have a player-wipe just before the final release. Only purchase it if you’re okay with that. The final wipe doesn’t have a specific date yet, other than “Q1 2017”.

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First, they have fully fixed the Linux launcher. For a long time it would come with a bunch of data but it was in the wrong place. So when you went to load it, the launcher would need to download the game again. This has been sorted, so the initial experience is much cleaner for Linux gamers. You install it, load the launcher, update and then you’re ready to play.

Sadly though, the initial experience was less than stellar. I was unable to actually login, as it kept telling me “Failed to connect to server”. I am a patient man, so considering the game hasn’t actually “released” yet I reported the issue and waited. Thankfully, after several tries over a period of 20 minutes it did let me login. The developers confirmed it was a minor server issue and since then it has been absolutely solid.

Albion Online is a PvP and crafting focused MMO, so everything on the markets and all the gear you get is crafted by either you or someone else. I like this idea, as you have constant progression towards higher tiers of weaponry and tools.

The combat is rather MOBA-like, so you click to attack or press hotkeys for special abilities depending on what weapons you have equipped. There’s no classes, as it’s all based on your equipment. You could be a swordsman one minute, but someone could have you at range, so you could switch to a bow for example, or a staff for some magic abilities.

Along with no classes, you don’t have character levels either. Instead of levels, you have fame in specific areas like refining, combat and so on. To get to the level in a specific route, like being able to refine higher level materials, you need to refine enough of the lower materials to progress.

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I haven’t tested the game in quite a number of months, so I have been looking forward to diving into the deep-end of this Linux-supported MMO. We have a pretty big lack of decent MMO games, so I was hoping Albion Online would fill a rather large gap in my gaming life on Linux.

I still think the game needs work for beginning players, as it still mostly dumps you into the game without much explanation. It does give you some basic fetch-quests to begin with, like gathering early resources and making some items. It’s not too confusing, so anyone with basic knowledge of an MMORPG should pick it up quite easily.

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The interface has been vastly improved for the PC version. Many things can be tweaked, the sizing is much better and it actually feels pretty good now. Things generally work as you would expect them too. You can also tweak the chat channels, so if you don't want spam from the global chat you can turn it (and any other channel) off.

One thing I would like to see is more in-game lore. I get that the game is heavily PvP focused, but more lore and PvE material I feel is quite essentially to keep players interested. The developers agree on the PvE side of it, as they have plans for better loot, "Dungeon Hubs" where players can meet up to do dungeons together and more.

I think they need to go even further though, and implement some basic traditional quests. Even randomly generated quests would be better than nothing. As right now it's pretty much gather/refine/craft, a small amount of PvE content or PvP. Having some basic quest-lines would just give the game a better feel overall, while not distracting from their main aim of an open-PvP world. It would be interesting to have such quests in this world too, as they could make some of them go through hostile zones where any player could attack you and that would make the quests even more interesting. I asked about it and apparently they have plans for something basic.

Some of the enhancements they’ve made to the game have made it a much better experience. Seeing your silhouette behind trees or buildings may seem like a simple feature, but it has made the game a lot nicer to play. You can no longer lose yourself amongst the forests of the land.

I think they need to expand this for your mounts as well, as a new feature for people mining resources is that you can dismount from your mount and if you keep within a certain distance, you can still use its expanded inventory (as they don’t just vanish now once you dismount). Your mount doesn’t have a silhouette and I’ve lost track of mine a few times, so giving them one too would be ideal. I love the persistent mount feature more than any of the newer features, as it makes mining less of a grind overall. It also means if you need to make a quick getaway in a hostile area, you can mount up faster as you have a much shorter mount-up timer.

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Gathering resource is still a bit too much of a grind. You have to repeatedly click on objects like trees until you fully cut them down to get all the resources. This could be solved quite easily with clicking once and have it gather over time. This would, to me, make it a much nicer experience and less tedious overall. Still, there’s something relaxing about it even now.

It took me about an hour and a half to get to the second tier for weapons and tools, which actually isn’t that long. Once you get to that point the game does open up a little more, as you will be able to take on stronger opponents and take on more dungeons.

Speaking of dungeons, I checked one out and it was actually a pretty nice experience for PvE. I ran through, killing hostiles as I encountered them and eventually reached a boss. The boss had some interesting spells, and could place down a magical item that essentially shot a laser out of it rotating around, so I had to keep ahead of it while taking on the boss. It was damn fun, but not very rewarding. All I got for the entire dungeon was some silver and a few bits of ore. It's again, a place that needs more to it.
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I still think the PC version needs more graphical options, like picking AA and so on to be able to fine-tune the experience. Apart from that, it’s an enjoyable game overall.

Once it releases in full and there’s no fear of a wipe, I will be putting plenty of time into it for sure as I really enjoy it. It can go from pleasantly relaxing to “oh my god I’m going to die” very quickly, depending on what zone you’re in and who’s lurking about. It does need big work in the PvE part as mentioned, but it's still enjoyable for the most part.

I have fond memories of when I played it last time, as myself and a few others from my guild at the time teamed-up to attempt to “gank” some random players in a more hostile zone. I remember us chasing someone off, but they were also in a guild and they must have called for help. As we approached a bridge, it was blockaded by 5-6 players of the other guild and a hilarious run and hide/try not to die attempt was made. Even that early on, Albion Online gave me a truly memorable experience.

I think any Linux gamer who is looking for an interesting MMO experience should seriously consider Albion Online when it leaves Beta. Considering it's an MMO, they will keep adding in new content after release to keep players entertained, which I am looking forward to seeing. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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18 comments
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Purple Library Guy 7 January 2017 at 10:18 pm UTC
I can see a potential problem here: If the basic schtick is that all the gear is crafted by players, then how can a dungeon have anything nice?
Possible workarounds:
--Dungeons have really nice, rare raw materials
--There is some kind of theft mechanic where some kind of critters or something swipe something random off people when they die, or when they die in certain ways (like, killed by another player--something the other person would have looted off your body might instead get grabbed by a gremlin of some sort) and then these stolen things end up in dungeons
--Dungeons have really nice, rare raw materials and it is possible to, instead of beating the dungeon, swap a crafted item of sufficient quality with the boss for some of their (whatever stuff); they then have whatever it is and they can use it against future dungeon raiders but it will also be lootable dungeon treasure
Kimyrielle 8 January 2017 at 4:44 am UTC
Dungeons don't necessarily have to have better rewards than open-world content. That's one of the things about MMOs I never understood - why do people think all the best stuff needs to drop from scripted boss fights? It's not a law of nature just because WoW did it that way.
liamdawe 8 January 2017 at 11:08 am UTC
In certain zones you drop everything when killed by a player, full loot PvP is part of the game.
Maelrane 8 January 2017 at 3:05 pm UTC
Albion still is a sandbox. If you want clear instructions go play a fucking themepark. Really. I am done with people always hopping on board promising sandboxes and then nagging around.

Just leave, there is the door.

I for one WANT PVP and a TRUE sandbox!
lvlark 8 January 2017 at 6:03 pm UTC
I played this a while back - plenty of changes I haven't seen - but I really did like it. I don't even really like PVP, but this game has a decent way of easing you into it, imo. And I liked the dungeons a whole lot. Later on, they have those rare materials as rewards (although you can, afaik, get them outside as well). Most boss mechanics that I encountered aren't too challenging, yet entertaining enough. I imagine things will heat up down the line?

KelsNot sure that really addresses my concern. Let me re-word it. Say I sign up as a new player and I want to go into crafting. I've got to start with the low level stuff, of course. But so does every other newbie, and experienced players who are starting to craft as well. There's going to be a glut of low-level crafted gear on the market, since that's what everyone makes to begin with. So from a seller's perspective, given there's not really anything at the low levels I can make that dozens of others aren't making at the same time, is there a system in place where I'm not just crafting and essentially throwing it away until I get to a sufficiently high skill level?

Each city having its own market does work to some extent. You can't quickly haul things around from high lvl areas to low lvl areas, so for a high lvl crafter there's probably not enough incentive to go and sell things in starter markets.

And Liam - count me in for the GOL guild!
zauberstuhl 9 January 2017 at 4:43 pm UTC
> And Liam - count me in for the GOL guild!

I am soo hyped .. I bought an account right after I read the article \m/
Let me know if you guys do a guild thingy I am in!
14 15 January 2017 at 3:37 am UTC
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Thanks for the update. I've been watching this one for a while. I was hoping Albion would have released a bit earlier since I play MMO's in the Winter months. There's a strong possibility that I'll be getting it next year. This year, it's EVE Online again.
TheReporter 17 September 2017 at 6:26 am UTC
Albion online all around pretty much sucks! The game claims to be a sandbox type game but yet they force the same people that want to craft and do gathering into PVP zones in order to
be able to gather those materials.

What the clueless developers of Albion Online don't seem to
understand is that not everyone wants to PVP and some of us are just happy gathering and crafting.

If it was a true sandbox game then the players should not
be forced into PVP and all materials from tier 1 to tier 8 should
be able to be gathered outside of PVP zones and they should not force the players into PVP areas if they do not want to go
there.

Basically all this game turns into is another giant gank fest
where once you get past tier 4 materials for crafting anyone
that wants to do crafting gets ganked repeatedly over and over
again by teams of gank squads who roam around the zones.
There are 8 different tiers of materials you can get
up to tier 8.

Also the servers seem to be pretty piss poorly run too you
will be running around a zone collecting materials
then boom all of a sudden you are logged out of the game and
you have to log back in again.

There are no connection issues on my side what so ever I
can go do everything else just fine. It is on the server side.

Or I have had a few times where I could not even connect
to their login server to be able to log into the server
again it isn't my connection it is on the server side
I could surf and do everything else normally except
connect to the game.

The servers are over crowded with 13 year old kids masturbating every time they kill a crafter and steal their stuff.

The game is also full of bots as well out gathering materials
and you do a /report on the bot and nothing gets
done about it seems the admins of this game don't give a shit
as long as they get your money.

This is absolutely the worst "Sandbox" game I have ever seen.
I use the term "sandbox" lightly for this game because really it
isn't because a true sandbox game would not force a person
who wants to craft to go into PVP zones to get materials and
you should be able to just craft all the way up if you wish without
having to do PVP.

Albion online got the whole open world PVP concept totally wrong.

Customer service on this game is rude and uncaring and they
really don't give a shit.

The game is NOT free either I saw some sites advertising the
this game is free to play it is not you have to buy a
"starter pack" which ranges anywhere from $29.95 USD (Veteran) up to
$99.95 USD (Legendary) and then after that
you can purchase a "premium" to be able to keep other perks
in the game and pay a monthly fee of $9.95 USD a month.
This game is in NO way free to play!

Avoid this game at all costs the player base is toxic and
rude and just full of assholes.

Rating of Albion Online 1/10
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