Albion Online makes the jump to closed beta, but only for those who can pay the piper
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.
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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.