Albion online Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Albion online RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The State of MMOs in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/ccwcq/the-state-of-mmos-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/ccwcq/the-state-of-mmos-in-2017 Wed, 06 Dec 2017 15:33:49 -0500 Craig Snyder

Since the days of EverQuest, Ultima Online, and The Realm Online, MMOs have been the backbone of online gaming. These are the games 20-somethings like myself went to as a kid when they got home from school to escape reality. These are the games where you could be something online that years before you could have never imagined creating and experiencing. An immersive gameplay experience combined with social and competitive interaction with other players is something magical.

I see a lot of people saying that MMOs are a dying breed, though. Are MOBAs and battle royale shooters taking over? There's no questioning the success of games like League of Legends and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds as of recent, but let's not count MMOs out just yet. Let's talk about what happened with MMOs in the past year.

The Biggest Standouts

There were two games this year that really stood out to me. That's not to say that they were necessarily the two best MMOs of 2017, but they far exceeded my expectations. Both happen to be some of the most hardcore games of the year, too.

Black Desert Online

It'd be a cliché to say Black Desert Online came out of nowhere. It came straight out of Korea, and when it hit North America and Europe, it sent hardcore MMO enthusiasts into a frenzy.

Black Desert Online closed out its first year in March of 2017 with 1.5 million NA players and 1.7 million EU players. Bear in mind, these are statistics from before it came to Steam. When it did drop on Steam, popular variety streamer summit1g helped Black Desert Online hit a new peak when he was addicted to it on stream for several weeks.

Black Desert Online came to the West at a time when MMOs had already gone soft, and this game is anything but that. Everything is uncapped. When you grind in Black Desert Online, you grind hard. Players hit the soft level cap and will work for months and months just to get to that next level. It gets to the point where that next percent becomes the goal. It's grueling. The item upgrading in this game is just as unforgiving, and you're going to eventually lose pieces of the best items in the game just by sacrificing them to a completely RNG-based enchantment system.

The hurt brings the joy for hardcore players, though, and this game is incredibly addicting. It's non-linear in the way that you don't have to grind mobs or quest if you don't want to. You can do nothing but fish or cook all day, and you'll eventually be able to power level your character and make good money.

The year rounded out in a not-so-great way for the people behind Black Desert Online. Users were able to mine and leak extremely sensitive game data that helps players better understand stat efficiency on their gear. One of the biggest puzzles in this game lies within the way that gear statistics offer very little insight. Stats like AP, DP, and Accuracy have limited math behind them, and for a long time it's been up to the community to test and understand what they mean and how they perform on each item. In the last quarter of this year, that information was made public, and Pearl Abyss did everything in their power to cover it up.

Path of Exile

I know that there's a lot of debate around whether Path of Exile is a "true MMO" or not, being that you aren't interacting in an open world, but 2017 pushed the envelope on that a little further. While I'd still question the degree to which it's "massively" multiplayer, there are nevertheless features like guilds and trading. There are even ways to PvP in certain game modes. Not only that, but Path of Exile's community is a big part of the game. You're going to have to rely on them for a lot of things, especially trading, and this alone is going to make the game feel like more of a multiplayer experience, be it head-to-head or cooperative.

With that out of the way, Path of Exile is everything that Diablo III should have been (and more). I don't think it's even up for debate that Path of Exile is the best multiplayer online ARPG out right now, and easily one of the best of all time.

The Fall of Oriath, the sixth expansion for Path of Exile, was released in August of this year. As the largest content update in the history of the game, it's often called "Path of Exile 3.0." I don't think anyone expected a small, independent video game developer from New Zealand to come out as one of the most successful and celebrated companies among its customers. Nonetheless, Grinding Gear Games is just that.

Before The Fall of Oriath, Path of Exile was four acts. Afterward, it was ten. That's six acts in a single expansion, effectively doubling the content of the game. This information floored the Path of Exile community, including myself, when it was released. With these acts came 24 new bosses and a whole slew of balance changes that were mostly welcomed with open arms.

Path of Exile's depth and complexity make it a game that has near-infinite replayability. With every new character you make, every new node tick in the passive skill tree, every new Skill gem in every socket of every new weapon, it's a new experience. The looting system in Path of Exile is disgustingly diverse. The way you can socket gems to your gear reminds me of Materia in Final Fantasy VII. Every part of this game feels like you're writing the code of your player as you develop it, and that feels so good.

The "Holy Trinity"

World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, and Elder Scrolls Online are at the top of the MMO food chain. Let's talk about what happened with these games in 2017.

World of Warcraft

2017 was the year of Legion, and with month after month of patches, Blizzard did a fine job in delivering a story and gameplay experience that's richer and more captivating than that of any other MMO that comes to mind.

World of Warcraft's year started with the release of a ten-boss raid featuring Gul'dan. Blizzard later introduced a micro-holiday system that gave players old and new a serious thirst to log in and see what special events awaited them for the day. PvP saw a new system of brawling, where 6-on-6 battles took over and really changed the landscape of a stale and boring PvP meta to make it fun and experimental again.

The year then closed out with two massive WoW-related announcements at BlizzCon that we'll get into later on in this piece.

Final Fantasy XIV

If you told me in 2010, when Final Fantasy XIV was released, that people would still be playing it in 2017, then I'd think you were crazy. We'd definitely be up to something like Final Fantasy XIX by 2017, right? Well, right now may actually be the best time ever to get into the game.

Final Fantasy XIV was originally received as a broken game that required far too much grinding. Square Enix even issued an apology for the quality of Final Fantasy XIV, and many fans were sure that its failures were leading to a major scar on the brand. In 2013, A Realm Reborn was released, and it corrected so many issues that originally plagued the game. In 2015, we were given Heavensward. With each expansion, Final Fantasy XIV was getting better and better. That seems natural and obvious, but games like World of Warcraft have playercount charts that peaked about five years after release and then declined from there. We're entering the eighth year with Final Fantasy XIV. Instead of falling off, it recently entered the list of top 10 subscriber-based MMOs in history.

We haven't even talked about the 2017 expansion, though. Stormblood started off rocky, but things have really panned out. Stormblood is another success that continues to push this MMO higher and higher on the charts. The newest expansion introduced swift swordsmen and red mages, underwater exploration, and a plethora of beautiful new zones.

Final Fantasy XIV is now at 10 million subscribers. To put it into perspective, the best MMO of all-time, World of Warcraft, is sitting at 12 million. There's no denying the massive success and continuation of this MMO powerhouse.

Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online started similarly to how Final Fantasy XIV did. Things didn't go as planned, promises were broken, and the community was fractured by a game that was less than they expected. You couldn't quest freely, you couldn't explore the world cooperatively, and friends couldn't even play together. It practically wasn't even an MMO.

That all changed years ago, and in 2017, Elder Scrolls Online is one of the most attractive and popular MMOs out. The game kicked off 2017 with fireworks upon the announcement of Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind. If you know anything about the Elder Scrolls franchise, you know the fanatical following behind this zone. Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind ended up being a massive success.

The Morrowind DLC also introduced the Warden class, the first new class in four years. It ended up being one of the most unique and diverse classes in the game. This year was also the year of player houses in Elder Scrolls Online. Homesteads allows you to purchase homes in Tamriel, and the decorating and customization options are fantastic. Player houses are fully functional, allowing you to craft, read, and participate in other activities. When you're not questing and developing your character, perfecting your house is something that you're going to spend an obsessive amount of hours on. It's a really great touch to the game.

The Newbie

Albion Online

Creativity and quirkiness is something to be appreciated in a game genre that is so old and on a very narrow path, and Albion Online does bring that. This is another one of those "super hardcore" MMOs, in a class with Black Desert Online, that I recommend for people who feel like they missed out on getting into games like RuneScape or Ultima Online.

Albion Online is an MMORPG with sandbox elements that are going to make you want to play for the long haul. That's what you're going to have to do too, because collecting resources is going to be a massive grind. Albion Online offers a medieval, cross-platform world where every battle is different and PvP is a looting extravaganza. Give this one a shot if you're a nostalgic gamer who wants something that looks and feels like the old days but really plays like new.

The Duds

ArcheAge

It's sad to see what has happened to ArcheAge. When it first released, my friends and I were extremely excited about the sandbox experience and claiming a small piece of the world's land as our own. What we instead got was an MMORPG riddled with hackers that used bots and other automated tools to claim those land plots the second they became available.

Unlike Final Fantasy XIV and Elder Scrolls Online, XL Games wasn't quick enough in correcting these issues, and 2017 was a year where we saw a lot of red in the playercount charts. There's just no reason to play ArcheAge when games like Black Desert Online were at their high point in 2017.

WildStar

Yes, still. WildStar was released as one of the most hyped fantasy/sci-fi MMOs under NCSOFT in 2014. Three years later, it's sitting at an average of about 190 concurrent on Steam.

The sad part isn't that WildStar failed but that Carbine Studios doesn't seem to have any plans on how to fix it or what to do with it. WildStar just kind of ... exists. When's the last time you heard about this MMO? Probably not for years, and that's because nothing major and exciting has come out lately. Homecoming and Power of the Primal Matrix were both flops and not nearly as large as promised. It's sad to see such wasted potential in a game that looked incredibly unique and promising.

All the Rest

Guild Wars 2 actually had a pretty solid year despite it being one of the more "quiet" MMOs. You don't hear a lot about this game, but what if I told you it was reported to have 11 million active players back in September?

Path of Fire was a massively popular content expansion. ArenaNet dubbed Heart of Thorns a "feature expansion," so players really looked forward to this. This Guild Wars 2 expansion took players to the Crystal Desert to experience crazy new mounts, new masteries, and new elite specializations.

I was happy to see RuneScape continue to live on for yet another year, both OSRS and RS3. One of the oldest MMOs still kicking saw changes to weather, pets, the bank, mining and smithing, and the Elder Gods in 2017. It's not just nostalgia that's keeping RuneScape's heart beating, but it's surely a big part.

Although the Steam Charts don't seem to reflect 2017 being a great year for EVE Online, this space-based, persistent world is far from dead.

In October of 2016, it was announced that EVE Online would follow a new free-to-play model. In October of this year, we learned that this free-to-play program was about to get majorly upgraded. Free players now have access to a massive amount of new skills and ships that are surely going to bring a surge in activity to this economy-driven classic. Lifeblood brought mining and pirates, with more to come in 2018.

Conclusion and Looking Ahead

For MMOs, 2017 saw a lot of familiar faces, and there's nothing wrong with that. Those same familiar faces will very well be the ones steering us into a successful 2018.

Not only did BlizzCon 2017 tease us with one of the most amazing-looking expansions coming in 2018, Battle for Azeroth, but they also seem to be bringing vanilla back. World of Warcraft private servers that emulate the game's early days were massively successful, and Blizzard has been criticized for their actions against these servers. Will World of Warcraft Classic be the solution? It's got to be one of the most exciting things heading into 2018!

Other titles like Bless Online, Sea of ThievesChronicles of Elyria, and Crowfall keep us hopeful for the new blood of 2018.

I definitely can't close out this piece without talking about Camelot Unchained. As someone who absolutely loves nostalgic titles and personally believes that we're long past the glory days of MMOs, revisiting Dark Age of Camelot is at the top of my MMO bucket list for next year.

Games like Black Desert Online, Final Fantasy XIV, and Elder Scrolls Online show that 2017 isn't the year where MMOs surrender as ready to die, and I expect that this continues into next year.

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What were your favorite MMOs of this year, and what MMOs are you looking forward to going into 2018? There are a lot of MMOs out there to talk about, and surely they haven't all been discussed in this article. Drop me a comment below, and we'll talk about your favorite (or least favorite) of the past year.

Check out more of our articles reviewing 2017 and looking forward into 2018:

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7 Surprisingly Good MMORPGs on Android https://www.gameskinny.com/pd0m0/7-surprisingly-good-mmorpgs-on-android https://www.gameskinny.com/pd0m0/7-surprisingly-good-mmorpgs-on-android Mon, 01 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Paige McGovern

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Albion Online

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  • Developer: Sandbox Interactive
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  • Business Model: Buy to Play
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  • Required: Android 5.0+, 7" screen tablet, ARMv7 (Cortex), Atom CPU OpenGL ES, 2.0 support or higher, 2 GB RAM or more
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  • Download Link
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  • Official Website
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What It Offers
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All characters are classless in this medieval cross-platform MMO. Your equipment determines who you are and what you will become.

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What Makes It Good
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Albion Online features a completely player-driven economy with PvP battles of varying sizes. There are hundreds of territories that guilds must compete for. Since the game is cross-platform, all players can interact with one another, making this a truly satisfying MMO experience.

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----

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What do you think about these 7 Android MMOs? Are you playing any? Let us know in the comments!

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And while you're searching these games, check out our other list on more mobile MMOs you should download right now.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/760a07f02b2b1c8c3b02a57fa8cf6fb1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/760a07f02b2b1c8c3b02a57fa8cf6fb1.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10798","description":"

Toram Online

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  • Developer: Asobimo, Inc.
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  • Business Model: Free; offers In-App Purchases
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  • Required: Android 2.3+
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  • Rating: 4.2 stars
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  • Download Link
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  • Official Website
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What It Offers
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This is another action MMO by Asobimo, Inc. Play and fight in multiple maps or an open world. Asobimo delivers again with great story missions, graphics, and landscapes.

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What Makes It Good
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Toram Online has much more customization variety than most MMOs, both in character appearance and equipment. You can build your own houses and own pets in this adventure, or you can focus only on your character and choose the skills and stats that are unique to you.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adec66a39656e52f1d8d87a8fb46af52.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adec66a39656e52f1d8d87a8fb46af52.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10797","description":"

Arcane Legends

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  • Developer: Spacetime Games
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  • Business Model: Free; offers In-App Purchases
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  • Required: Android 2.3.3+
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  • Rating: 4.4 stars
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  • Download Link
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  • Official Website
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What It Offers
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This fantasy action MMO offers superb graphics, decent storyline and questing, and weekly and seasonal events. In addition, there's player housing, which isn't seen too much in mobile MMOs. 

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What Makes It Good
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While there aren't a lot of classes, Arcane Legends makes up for this flaw by its multiple PvP modes and mystical pet collection system.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d772603be2eba0cf9da5a54d2856a76e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d772603be2eba0cf9da5a54d2856a76e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10796","description":"

Aurcus Online

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  • Developer: Asobimo, Inc.
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  • Business Model: Free; offers In-App Purchases
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  • Required: Android 2.3+
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  • Rating: 4.4 stars
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  • Download Link
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  • Official Website
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What It Offers
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This is another mobile MMORPG by Asobimo, Inc. Its graphics are simple yet beautiful for a mobile device. Fight against enemies of all kinds and build up your combos in this action-packed game.

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What Makes It Good
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Players can participate in open world PvP battles with their friends. Combat is skill-based and challenging. Although players can opt to pay for a subscription, players assure that this game is not pay to win and truly delivers the MMO experience to small screens.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c79723726a9395406df5210475ea4fe8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c79723726a9395406df5210475ea4fe8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10800","description":"

Order & Chaos 

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  • Developer: Gameloft
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  • Business Model: Free; offers In-App Purchases
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  • Required: Android 3.0+
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  • Rating: 4.3 stars
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  • Download Link
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  • Official Website
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What It Offers
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Choose your race, class, and talent. Thousands of skills are at your disposal. Join a guild or create your own. Choose the pet or mount of your choice.

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What Makes It Good
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This is an old-school style MMO that resembles vanilla World of Warcraft for many players. The world is massive and completely open. The dungeons are praised highly.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/u/n/dungeon-8c47b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/u/n/dungeon-8c47b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157733","description":"

Dungeon Hunter 5

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  • Developer: Gameloft
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  • Business Model: Free; offers In-App Purchases
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  • Required: Android 4.0+
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  • Rating: 4.2 stars
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  • Download Link
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  • Official Website
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What It Offers
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Dungeon Hunter 5 is a hack-n-slash MMO that features a fantastic story, powerful dungeons, and a large variety of weapons and armor to choose from. Defend your goods or raid others' strongholds.

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What Makes It Good
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Graphics are stunning and game play is smooth for a mobile MMO. You won't easily get bored in this game. Immerse yourself in the single player story mission experience, or compete against others in the Stronghold mode. Earn resources to upgrade your stronghold and become the strongest warrior in the land.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/v/a/avabek-2b576.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/v/a/avabek-2b576.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157732","description":"

Avabel Online

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  • Developer: Asobimo, Inc.
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  • Business Model: Free; offers In-App Purchases
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  • Required: Android 2.3+
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  • Rating: 4.2 stars
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  • Download Link
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  • Official Website
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What It Offers
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Starting off as a classless character, the player must make their way up in power and choose their own path in this beautiful 3D action MMO. Experience many quests, dungeons, and PvP combat. 

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What Makes It Good
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Classes aren't fixed and can be changed at any time. Combat is fast and fluid. For an older game, there's still an active player base. Avabel Online is fun and easy to pick up whether you're a veteran to the mobile MMO scene or just getting started.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/d/android-d5d3a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/d/android-d5d3a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157739","description":"

When most people think of an MMORPG, they don't think about the mobile market. In fact, the mention of a mobile MMO may be enough to drive interested players away.

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Gamers are concerned that a mobile MMO can't deliver the features and player base that a "traditional" MMO can. Are they right? I don't think so.

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It's time to challenge that idea. Here are 7 MMORPGS on Android that will change the way you look at the mobile MMO market.

"}]]]>
Albion Online makes the jump to closed beta, but only for those who can pay the piper https://www.gameskinny.com/k79hj/albion-online-makes-the-jump-to-closed-beta-but-only-for-those-who-can-pay-the-piper https://www.gameskinny.com/k79hj/albion-online-makes-the-jump-to-closed-beta-but-only-for-those-who-can-pay-the-piper Tue, 02 Aug 2016 04:45:10 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Sandbox Interactive announced this week that they will be moving Albion Online into the "Final Beta". The game's servers have been wiped and the roughly 160K founding players will be starting over from scratch. Only founders will be allowed into the beta though, so bring your wallet if you want to play. 

Albion Online is an MMORPG that has more in common with Eve Online than World of Warcraft. The economy is entirely player driven, so if a player wants the best sword in the game she will need to find the best blacksmith in the world to buy it from. If a player wants to mine for ore and transport it across the lands, they are free to do so, but they will face off against player bandits and opposing guilds. 

Quite a few changes have been made to the game as a result of the alpha testing. They have added two huge new worlds to explore -- The Royal Islands, and The Outlands. Each of these areas will also have new biomes including swamps, mountains, and steppes. The developers have also added Artifact Items to help keep players competitive while they roam the lands seeking glory and riches.

Guild game play has been revamped as well including Guild Vs. Guild combat. They have also added a new "Crime and Reputation" system that should help to keep players honest. Reputation will play a huge part in how the world reacts to and treats the players, so those who decide to turn to a life of crime will suffer real consequences.

The beta went live on August 1st. Legendary Founders will have access immediately, while Epic Founders will have to wait a day. Veteran founders, the lowest of the founder tiers, will have access on August 3rd. The price of entry isn't cheap, with the Veteran Founder's pack coming in at $29.95 and the Legendary Founders pack a whopping $99.95. But if you would like to get in on the beta, check out the official website for all the juicy details. 

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Top 5 Mobile MMO Masterpieces https://www.gameskinny.com/7iyuz/top-5-mobile-mmo-masterpieces https://www.gameskinny.com/7iyuz/top-5-mobile-mmo-masterpieces Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:16:48 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

The world of online gaming has changed quite a bit over the last several years. It seems nearly every major MMO game on every platform has gone over to the freemium, pay-to-win, or item mall business plans. Mobile gaming never really had the benefit of anything different. Love it or hate it, that's the way it is for those of us wanting to take our MMOs on the go. Come with me on an adventure and lets see if we can find the diamonds in the rough!

When I began thinking about a list of top MMO games for mobile devices, I wanted to give my readers a list of games that they may or may not have heard of -- games that are great MMOs in their own right, but that might have slipped through the cracks or been overshadowed by their flashier and more advertised cousins. 

I wanted to avoid the obvious games. Everyone knows about Order and Chaos Online, Game of War - Fire Age, Grepolis, etc. We know they are good games because everyone says so. All the reviews are great and they have millions of players. You already know what you're getting into before you start playing these A-list games. However, if you're looking for something a little different, something off the beaten path, then look no further.

Here is my list of the top 5 mobile MMOs out there today:

1. Nords: Heroes of the North

Nords: Heroes of the North is what I think of as a more classic mobile MMO. It revolves mostly around base building and resource management. It also includes microtransactions which, lets face it, are extremely difficult to escape when playing these types of games. Fortunately, they are not overly invasive in this particular game.

In addition to building a colorful Nordic home base, you can also attack other players online. The first time you do this can be a bit scary. A warning message pops up telling you that once you attack you lose your "novice status". That means you are vulnerable to retaliation by other players, but don't worry -- that's half the fun of the game anyway. 

The combat is fairly generic. You don't get much control over the whole affair. It mostly comes down to who has more numbers. That aside, the graphics and colors are beautiful in this game and combat is truly fun to watch.

They also managed to wrangle some voice talent for this one -- Patrick Warburton, the voice of Joe on Family Guy as well as many other shows, movies, and games. This is just a little touch, but gives the game a more polished feel. 

All in all this one is not bad. It is a cash grind for sure, but the beautiful graphics and voice acting should keep players coming back for more. 

2. War of Dragons

War of Dragons is a fun little MMO that doesn't get nearly enough credit. The object of the game is to build your base and pepper it with defenses to defend it. Then you acquire dragons and use them to smash other player's bases into little tiny bits. This is done by making various gestures (keep it clean now folks) on the screen as your dragon flies over the enemy base. 

As you play through the game you acquire bigger and better dragons. The more powerful the dragons, the better they will be at blasting other players to smithereens, but watch out because they also take longer to heal from their injuries. That means more down time between play times.

While you are waiting for another run at your enemy's base, you can rebuild your defenses and chat with other players. You can also form teams and help each other out. Then, while you are off folding laundry or perusing the wonderful articles on Gameskinny, your friends can help defend your base from other players. 

War of Dragons has the run-of-the-mill timers and premium purchases, but it doesn't seem to be overly intrusive. This one is lots of fun to play with friends and won't break the bank. 

3. Albion Online

Albion Online is a new mobile MMO from Sandbox Interactive GMBH. The game is still in closed beta, which would normally disqualify it from my list -- but this one looks so good, I couldn't leave it out. Judging by online reviews, players seem to be loving this one so far. It claims to be truly cross platform, meaning you can play it on your PC at home then take the game with you on your phone or tablet.  

It truly is a beautiful game, with a top-notch isometric view and gorgeous scenery. A host of character creation and customization options add plenty of depth. PvE, PvP, and GvG modes are available and should give players plenty to keep them busy. If all that fighting is too much however, Albion Online has other, less confrontational, gameplay options.  

The economy in Albion Online is entirely player run, so if players get tired of all the questing and killing, they can retire to their own peaceful little corner of Albion where they can build a home and take up farming.

Farming is important, because very little can happen in the game without food. Guilds need it to build and to wage wars. If growing food isn't your thing, you can also gather materials needed to craft weapons and armor then transport them to trade markets around the world. 

This is all very advanced for a mobile MMO, which definitely makes this one of the year's most anticipated MMO games. Players can get in on the closed beta with one of the three Founder's Packs available on their website

4. Pocket Starships

Pocket Starships is a twin-stick shooter MMO. The object of the game is to conquer areas of space, while also defending your own. To do this you need to join battle groups with other players. Certain areas of space will be set on alert status. When this happens you can hit the jump gate and happily blast your enemies into space dust.

You start at your home station where you can recharge your shields and repair your ship. You can also produce items here using resources. These can be mined in certain sectors of space, then transferred back to your station for refinement. The materials can then be used to build bigger and better ships, weapons, and boosts of various types.

Being a sci-fi fanatic, this game really appeals to me, but I think anyone can appreciate it. The graphics are gorgeous and the music is fantastic if a bit repetitive. It puts me in mind of the Star Trek and E.T. soundtracks kind of mixed together.  

The game performed well, but I did experience a few crashes. Bear in mind I was playing on a iPad 2, so crashes are part of the deal. I'm sure newer devices would have more luck. 

5. Fallen London

Fallen London nearly didn't make my list. Not because it isn't a good game, but because it's technically not an MMO. Regardless, it does have online play and you can invite friends to play with you, so ultimately it made the cut. Mainly because the game is just so darned good. 

This game is not new at all. It has been around as a browser based game for some time. It is only recently however, that Failbetter Games decided to create a mobile app. It was great in a browser, but the app adds music and ambiance galore and, although I did have a few crashes, it behaves quite well.

Fallen London is not about big battles and tons of action. It tells stories and it does it very well. The writing is some of the best I've ever seen in a game. The stories draw you in and unravel over time. Sometimes they take hours, some last days or even weeks as you can only explore parts of them as they become available.

Along the way players can invite friends to participate in their stories. This doesn't play out in a traditional way, as it's a text-based adventure. Nevertheless, they can participate and the game does a great job of integrating that and making it feel as though you were on an adventure together. 

While not everyone's cup of tea, Fallen London definitely has a niche market and devout fan following. It has spawned spin off games such as Sunless Sea, a PC game about sailing the Unterzee. It has also created a whole new level of cosplay options for fans of Steampunk and Lovecraftian fiction. Honestly folks, who doesn't love a little Steampunk Cthulhu action now and then?

What are some of your favorite mobile MMOs? Let me know in the comments!

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The 11 most anticipated MMO releases of 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/9sctj/the-11-most-anticipated-mmo-releases-of-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/9sctj/the-11-most-anticipated-mmo-releases-of-2016 Tue, 17 Nov 2015 03:26:45 -0500 Ty Arthur

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The coming year is bringing an absolute storm of new massively multiplayer worlds, with a heavy focus on the fantasy side this time around. Unfortunately some of those games that fans have been looking forward to for years probably won't arrive as expected.

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One of the biggest upsets comes from Pathfinder Online, which is technically available in an Early Access version, but isn't finished and is unlikely to ever actually be completed. This one hurts for me specifically as I've been a huge fan of Paizo since long before the pen and paper Pathfinder RPG came to dominate the roleplaying landscape.

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It was a gamble to begin with as a book company ventured into developer territory, and sadly it didn't pay off. All but three of the employees working on Pathfinder Online were just laid off, and there's been a lot of discontent from beta players about the ruleset going a different direction than expected, focusing on PVP in a way the base Pathfinder rules really don't support. Of course its always possible some other publisher will pick it up, polish it off, and get it released in full format, but for now if you want a Pathfinder PC experience, you'll have to instead look towards the upcoming Obsidian-developed rendition of the Pathfinder card game instead.

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In another cancellation with a silver lining, the World Of Darkness MMORPG officially got a stake through the heart now that White Wolf has been bought out by Paradox Entertainment. While that's a downer for fans of huge online worlds, that's also a plus for fans of the various World Of Darkness lines, as it means we'll likely get some Vampire, Werewolf, or possibly even Mage single player games in the near future.

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Last off, the newest iteration of Everquest, simply titled Everquest Next, is now solidly in development but doesn't have a specific release date or even basic window. There's not a ton of solid info yet, other than that it will be a re-imagining of Norrath rather than a sequel game in the exact same setting.

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What MMORPG are you most excited about diving into next year, and what didn't make this list that you think should have been added? Let me know in the comments!

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Bless

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Another Korean developed fantasy title, Bless is shaping up to be an excellent addition to the 2016 MMORPG lineup for fans of anything from Lineage to Lord Of The Rings Online. This one looks like it will hit all the classic tropes, from the JRPG graphical styling to the large class and race combination covering everything from elven wizards to cat folk rangers.

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Crowfall

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This crowd-funded game with a slick, stylized graphical theme aims to blend a real time strategy with a persistent MMORPG, described by the developers as a “throne war” simulator.

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The ideas for mixing together those opposing genres are intriguing, with different campaigns available that will last for several months of real time before wiping out and moving on to another iteration. Stay tuned for a lot more info on this one to come shortly as a release date is nailed down.

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Albion Online

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Closed beta starts at the end of the month for this upcoming free-to-play fantasy entry. A strong focus is being placed here on player interactivity with the economy and locations, with shops carrying primarily what people have previously sold and areas changing based on player conflict.

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The overall aesthetic and siege-based combat against large groups of attackers almost gives off a MOBA meets MMORPG feel. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of this one in particular, and while waiting for some beta game play to drop, check out a video from the developers below.

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World Of Warcraft: Legion Expansion

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Following the Warlords of Draenor update from back in 2014, Legion will be the sixth expansion to the MMORPG that just won't quit: the world-famous World Of Warcraft. If you're still clinging on to the most famous multiplayer fantasy game of them all, Legion will raise the level cap to 110, pop in additional areas and dungeons, and even offers up a new demon hunter class.

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H1Z1

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We've had post apocalyptic MMORPGs and zombie-based shooters, but now the two finally collide, allowing you to live in a persistent sandbox world overrun with the undead. Scavenge supplies from dead cities, avoid hordes of shambling zombies and above all, be afraid of your fellow man!

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If The Walking Dead is a weekly event for you, you'll want to get in on this title that's already available in Early Access through Steam. Unfortunately the game suffered from negative reviews over reports of hackers and exploits in the early days, and hopefully that gets resolved before the final release in 2016.

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Camelot Unchained

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Partially funded through a Kickstarter campaign, this successor to Dark Age Of Camelot will focus more on PvP over the PvE that so many games highlight these days, as large realms of players come into conflict.

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Rather than going for dwarves and elves, the three major factions focus on berserker vikings, Arthurian knights, and the fae-inspired Tuatha De'Danann. If you want to be part of a band of brothers battling against foes from a rival faction who lack in chivalry and honor, this one's for you.

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Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

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A legend returns as Richard Garriott arrives with the spiritual successor to Ultima Online, one of the first true MMORPGs to actually catch on and show what could be done with the genre. As a bonus to fantasy fans, Tracy Hickman of Dragonlance fame is handling the story design in this re-imagining of the standard multiplayer dungeon-stomping good time.

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Of course there's the usual massively mutliplayer aspects, but in an interesting twist, the game can actually be played entirely offline for those who don't want to interact with other players, and a separate mode is also being implemented where only your specific friends show up in your instance of the game world.

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Black Desert

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It's been a long development cycle so far for this upcoming sandbox entry in the MMORPG genre; its development has been going for almost six years now, and beta testing has been open in Korea since all the way back in 2013.

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A finished product is finally expected to launch for European and North American fans in 2016 as that development draws to a close (or at least to a low simmer, as work on massively multiplayer games never really ends). For fans of the high fantasy genre who want to fling fireballs while laying siege to an enemy castle, this is the big title to look out for next year.

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In a promise that is hopefully delivered on fully, the huge and seamless environments are reportedly going to be much more interactive than in the standard MMORPG, and of course the visual appeal is worth mentioning, with both the environment and characters showcasing a high level of polish.

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Star Citizen

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It's been a crazy roller coaster ride following Star Citizen's development, from the huge ups of the crowdfunding campaign and massive hype to the lows of some very negative articles about what's going on behind the scenes. Whether you believe it's never coming out or were swayed by the negative press, there's no denying that what Star Citizen proposes is a very ambitious melding of different genres, aiming for total immersion in a near future space society.

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While it remains to be seen if Cloud Imperium Games can deliver on the promises made, a mashup of first person shooter, space combat and intergalactic economy simulator in a persistent world sounds like an excellent time if the game actually arrives next year as projected.

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Lineage Eternal

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Although they have a sizable and dedicated fan base, the Lineage games have been oft-maligned for their unnecessary level of grinding and absurdly inflated prices for even basic gear. We'll have to see if any of that will change in latest entry Lineage Eternal, which has been in development for several years without any major updates, but is expected out finally next year.

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Based on the footage and brief snippets of info that have made it online so far, it looks like Eternal is going more of a hack 'n slash route, with a greater focus on large scale battles with significantly more enemies on the screen at any one time.

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Warhammer 40k Eternal Crusade

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It was beyond time for this to happen: the eternal war raging through the grim darkness of the 41st millenium hits the MMORPG circuit! Now entering closed alpha, Eternal Crusade pits Imperial Space Marines, the forces of Chaos, Orks, and the enigmatic Eldar against one another in mission-based, third-person combat.

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Eternal Crusade is reportedly redesigning the standard MMORPG quest system to be quite different from the overused genre norm of approaching someone in a city and having them ask you to kill X number of enemy Y. Projected to see release in 2016, the base game will have to be bought like any other, but it will also be available without a monthly subscription fee (as they put it in Orkish terms, it will be “Free to Waaaaaagh!”)

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While the ever-evolving hive of the Tyranid is listed as a faction, it seems like they'll again be the enemy and sadly not a playable race – an option that's been missing from most Warhammer 40k titles. You can all fight for that desiccated corpse emperor on his broken throne, but I'm going to spill blood for the blood god and spread the glory of Chaos!

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Looking back at the genre's beginnings, who would have ever thought such a staggering number of massively multiplayer titles would be available today? Or that a lot of them would be thriving? While some have fallen to the wayside, many of the biggest names are continuing on a decade or more later, somehow still finding hundreds of thousands or even millions of players to populate their servers.

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Not only has the number of MMOs steadily increased over the years, but overall interest in them continues to climb from gamers who normally prefer other styles, in no small part due to the gradual shift towards a free-to-play model. Most notably this year, Wildstar just went the free route and Guild Wars 2 is still going strong using that strategy.

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The advent of Early Access titles is also a boon both for the genre and (more importantly) for the players, as it ensures quality titles with strong mechanics will get the funding and word of mouth required to thrive, while those games that are more half baked either get the extra attention needed to succeed or they fall by the wayside.

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Despite those advantages, there have been some major speed bumps in the industry, with a handful of anticipated titles getting cancelled or failing in early access. Looking forward to the year ahead, you can expect more to succeed than fail as expansions to classic games arrive, long-running series finally enter the MMO realm, and entirely new IPs arrive to shake things up.

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If you want to know about more highly-anticipated games coming out next year, don't forget to check out our looks at the best horror games, first person shooters, and RPGs coming in 2016.

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Albion Online Shows Off Cross Platform Capabilities & a World with "No Levels" https://www.gameskinny.com/eue5f/albion-online-shows-off-cross-platform-capabilities-a-world-with-no-levels https://www.gameskinny.com/eue5f/albion-online-shows-off-cross-platform-capabilities-a-world-with-no-levels Mon, 10 Feb 2014 02:20:29 -0500 Cosmic Engine

Sandbox interactive, the developers behind the upcoming MMO Albion Online have taken to Youtube recently to show off the games cross platform capabilities. In the recent Dev Blog post the team cited that:

"Albion Online’s cross-platform development has presented a lot of challenges to the team, though it has also brought some surprising advantages. Developing for both PCs and tablets has resulted in a heavy focus on optimization, for example, from which all versions have benefited."


The developers also went on to say that it was perfomance considerations across all platforms that also led to the games choice in art and graphics direction:

"Performance considerations have also resulted in Albion Online’s clean, distinctive art style."

Albion Online is a free to play medieval sandbox MMO game

"a world in which there are no levels"

It is being developed with the intent of delievering a unique experience in MMO gaming. Instead of having tradinational character levels, the developers have designed what they call the 'Destiny board.' David Salz, Technical Director at Sandbox Interactive says:

"The Destiny Board was designed to give players some direction in a world in which there are no levels"

Alongside features like the Destiny Board are a fully player-driven economy, a day/night system, PvP corpse looting, and territory control. The game will be played from the Isometric viewpoint allowing a good view of your surrondings.

BETA for the game is expected early this year. The berlin based developer first announced the game back in spring 2013, so expect much more to be coming from them this year.

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