Albion Online is something I have kept on eye on for sometime now, and since I’ve been playing it during the closed beta period here are my initial thoughts on it. This is not a full review, as I will do that once it’s completely out.
We have a real empty spot when it comes to MMORPG games on Linux, and I used to love chilling out in WoW when I was a Windows minion, so finally having one comparable on Linux is great, but is it any good?
I have to say, that so far I am reasonably impressed with it. There seems to be no issues with performance, and the game actually looks reasonably nice. I do hope they beef up the graphics a little bit for PC players like us in future, but I understand why it’s missing a lot of options right now being cross-platform with mobile gamers too.
The game is more than a little daunting at the start, I found my head spinning a bit with no real welcome, and nothing really telling me what to do or where to go. It really is a sandbox style MMORPG, as you are free to do whatever you want. I really do suggest reading the beginner’s guide if you plan to pick it up and play it during the closed beta. Although even after reading that, I still wasn’t prepared.
The game is a grind, and certain things will take quite a bit of time. That’s true for most MMORPG games, but Albion even more so. The good thing about Albion Online is you can switch up what you’re focusing on whenever the hell you feel like it. This is thanks to the Fame system that allows you to earn Fame doing tons of different things like farming, crafting, getting resources, fighting etc. The grind is mainly annoying due to so much manual clicking needed. If, for example, a tree you’re cutting happens to have a ton of wood on it, you may end up clicking on it 6-7-8 times, and each time you click and wait. They need to tweak this behaviour if it is to keep PC players interest I think.
The fighting is a simple mechanic of click the enemy, and fight. You do have manual interaction with skills (so combat is a little MOBA like). The Player vs AI combat is perfectly fine, and seems to work okay. I’ve died from a skeleton once, as I didn’t really realise it was that much more powerful than my tier-2 gear.
It does bug me that there’s really no information on hovering your mouse over things, that’s something I would very much like to see expanded, as it reeks of mobile gaming having to click everything.
The chat box is also annoying me right now, luckily you can very easily disable the global chat tab, so you don’t have to put up with all the idiotic spam that goes on in it. I would really like to see some more anti-spam tools on it to prevent the same people spamming “JOIN MY GUILD” sort of stuff. Another annoying thing about the chat box, is that it’s covered up too often. Every time you go to craft something, you have to wait, and the UI covers up the chat box.
I’ve spent at least five hours in the game, so I’m still very early on and there’s a lot left for me to do and explore.
Just be warned, if you do plan to pick it up, all progress is reset when the closed beta finishes.
It’s a big time sink, a fair amount of it is a grind, but it’s interesting to play. I’ve already made a few new buddies playing it after joining a guild named “Legends”, and I will probably continue playing it. I also purchased my very own island with in-game money, so that’s pretty cool.
It’s good to have a proper MMO like this on Linux. If you don’t hear from me for days, it’s probably because I’m hooked. Is it a game I can see myself still playing in a few months? I’m not entirely sure, it depends how good the later game content is like the proper PvE and guild territory wars are, but they sound fun.
Overall, I think it’s a pretty great start for an indie MMO.
Check out Albion Online here. You can still buy into it right now if you so wish.