Launch Day: July 17, 2017
In the weeks leading up to the launch, anticipation in the Albion Online community reached a fever pitch. People took days or weeks off work to dive into the game, created extensive spreadsheets to document their burgeoning guilds and alliances, and spent late nights on the forums plotting their first steps in the world of Albion.
At 13:00 UTC on July 17th, the game was officially live, and people began streaming into the Royal Continent. It was a time of firsts: first kills in the red zone, first to enter a black zone, the first Hellgates, the first attacks launched and GvGs and most importantly for some, claiming the Home Territories.
Guilds began to take shape, and Alliances became clearer. "I was playing in the guild 8 Team during this time," says Emma-Jade, aka Evoque, Community Lead for Albion Online. "I remember how hyped players were and how extensively they prepared, planning days off work… it was a lot of fun as everyone in the map was at an early state and it was a relatively even playing field. On day one, 8 Team rushed to the city, got a guild island, and pushed T4 buildings out. Once the plots were open, the guild grouped up as fast as possible and we claimed as many as we could. I was not able to be involved in everything, as I was hosting the official stream on AlbionTV at the time, but I was fortunate enough to witness their progress and support where I could – it was important for me to really experience these unique moments alongside the players."
Streaming live on launch week
While thrilling, the launch was also challenging: the community had grown beyond all expectations, and was fully prepared to log in the moment the game was live. The numbers alone would have been challenging to handle from a support/moderation perspective, but coupled with malicious DDOS attacks (which caused blackscreen issues and other technical challenges), it became an exhausting week for the developers and the community alike.
"I remember how hyped players were and how extensively they prepared, planning days off work…"
Over the following weeks, the technical issues receded, and players were able to fully immerse themselves in the game. The Albion Online character builder officially launched on July 25, allowing players to share trusted builds and explore new ones, and players started reaching the higher tiers soon after that.
The Joseph Update: Prepare to Fight
The first few months after launch saw the formation of a more hardcore, PvP-oriented contingent in the Albion community. Guilds grew in size and power, and many players began to center their gameplay in Caerleon due to its access to the lawless Outlands.
"The community is now consolidated, and consists much more of players who enjoy Albion for what it is: a player-driven world with a heavy emphasis on hardcore PvP and aggressive economics."
Game Director Robin Henkys sees this phase as a sorting or consolidation of the playerbase: "Initially, we had a huge range of players who hoped Albion would deliver their particular desires. The community is now consolidated, and consists much more of players who enjoy Albion for what it is: a player-driven world with a heavy emphasis on hardcore PvP and aggressive economics."
With this competitive faction of the Albion community growing, the first post-launch update, Joseph, brought new PvP opportunities in the form of the Arena, which offered 5v5 battles in each of the game's cities, and PvE opportunities in the form of open-world treasure hunts and two new higher-tier Expeditions, which were dungeon-like adventures that could be accessed from the game's major cities.
One of the key goals of the Merlyn update is to increase the relevance of the five Royal cities: Martlock, Thetford, Fort Sterling, Lymhurst and Bridgewatch. In this new Dev Talk, Robin Henkys, Game Director of Albion Online, discusses how these cities will not only gain significance as the headquarters of their factions, but will also be increasingly attractive for crafters and traders as well.
The fourth major post-release content update for Albion Online arrives next week, bringing the all-new Faction Warfare system.
Each faction is based in a different Royal city and biome, and each faction's leader has a unique personality to match. Their quirks make them charismatic leaders to their allies… and frightening foes on the battlefield.
Watch the new trailer for a taste of these unique bosses' special skills:
You can meet the five faction leaders when the Merlyn update goes live on Tuesday, July 31.
Merlyn, the fourth major post-launch update for Albion Online, is now live! This update brings the new Faction Warfare system to the world of Albion, along with numerous other features, improvements, and changes.
And to celebrate the occasion, we're giving all players a 25% fame boost for one week! Just log into the game between now and August 6 at 10:00 UTC and you'll automatically get the Mists of Albion buff, which gives a 25% boost to gathering, crafting, killing monsters, and all other activities.
Watch the new trailer here:
Whether you're new to the world of Albion or a seasoned veteran, Merlyn brings features, improvements, and optimizations for everyone. Here's an overview of what's coming:
Join one of five factions based in the five Royal cities to participate in open-world warfare, claim enemy outposts, partake in dangerous trade missions, and earn valuable rewards.
Refining, Crafting and Resource Updates
Each city on the Royal Continent now has its own unique refining and crafting bonuses, offering new economic opportunities for traders and crafters – and resources have been redistributed to encourage travel and transport throughout the world.
Marketplace UI Improvements
The Marketplace UI has been completely overhauled, and two new features have been added: a clearer average price display based on actual sales, and in-depth sales history for each item at a given location.
New Dungeon, Trophies, Costumes, and More
Take on the new T5 Dungeon Stoneroot Caverns, decorate your home with all-new gathering trophies, dress in style with new wedding costumes, and experience numerous improvements to Albion's combat, UI, graphics, animations, and audio.
Want the full details of every single feature, improvement, and change coming with the Merlyn update? You can view the complete changelog here.
A new referral season starts today! Refer your friends and get three new rewards: the Recruiter's Barrel-Crate, the Recruiter's Beer Mug, and the Saint Bernard.
How to Earn Seasonal Referral Rewards
The new referral season lasts until September 26. There are three ways to collect referrals and earn a Saint Bernard:
- The easiest way is by sending Trial Keys to your friends. Each key redeemed on an account without a key on it will count toward your referral season progress.
- Additionally, any Starter Pack that you buy and that gets redeemed on an account without a key will also count toward your progress.
- And last but not least: if a friend registers through your referral link, then buys and redeems a Starter Pack on their account, you’ll also progress.
To get an overview of your current progress this season, and to see the FAQ for the referral system, click here.