Content update - Into the Fray - announced
05/18/2022 - Albion Online, the fantasy sandbox MMORPG from Sandbox Interactive, today announced the release of its next major content update - Into the Fray. The update brings a completely revamped weapon line - Magic Staffs, new 5 vs. 5 battle modes, varying daily events, and much more.
- New graphics, animations, and spells for Magical Wands
- Portal Cities facilitate access to the Outlands
- Castles receive improved graphics and gameplay mechanics
- New 'Crystal Arena' and non-lethal Crystal League 5 vs. 5 modes
- Daily Events provide short-lived bonuses
- Victory Emotes and Twitch Drops
- Numerous improvements to overall gameplay quality
REVISION OF MAGIC STAYS
Into the Fray brings a major overhaul of Magic Staves. Along with new and improved VFX, animations and sound, many staffs are getting completely revamped and even some brand new skills, for example:
- Thorns: reworked to improve solo PvE for healers
- Pyroexplosion: now a channeled skillshot with rewards for positioning and timing
- Qualal Soul (Demonic Staff): Frightens enemies, based on Curse of Shame stacks
- Rejuvenating Flower: a unique, multi-part spell
Each staff line has specific colors for better recognition, and numerous changes to mechanics have also been made to give mages more options while keeping combat dynamic and fair. Fire, Holy, Cursed, and Nature wands are getting a complete overhaul with this update, the Arcane and Frost wands are expecting the same program after the update is live.
The update introduces Portal Towns, they replace the previous Portal Zones and serve as an extension of the Royal Towns in the Outlands. These cities make it much easier for new players to enter the Outlands, while also providing more convenience and time savings for the more experienced collectors and fighters.
Along with important buildings such as the Energy Handler and Repair Stations, each Portal City also shares its respective bank and marketplace with its associated Royal City, making buying, selling, and re-equipping much easier. With their visually redesigned invisibility shrines and protective bubbles upon re-entry, these cities also serve as convenient respawn points in the Outlands. Additionally, Portal Cities also reduce overpopulation in the Royal Cities and Hall of Conquerors, making it easier on both sides of the portal to complete their respective tasks.
IMPROVEMENTS TO CASTLES AND OUTPUTS
The update brings changes to Castles and Outposts . Improved layouts and graphics make battles more dynamic, fair and visually varied, while giving castle owners more ways to defend their castle. Different rarity levels and synchronized timers on chests challenge combat on multiple fronts simultaneously. Chests appear on the world map before they can be claimed, also showing their rarity level, giving smaller guilds a way to focus on these coveted targets.
In addition, castle chests spawn more frequently per day, providing occasions for large battles throughout the week. Castle chests now also bring strength, and season points are earned via a strength challenge, no longer via passive control. Overall, these changes bring more occasions to large battles, while at the same time giving smaller guilds more chances to earn lucrative winnings.
ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW AND DAILY EVENTS
An Activities Overview provides a summarized overview of active challenges, including the Adventurer Challenge, Faction Wars, and the Conqueror Challenge, allowing for easy monitoring of ongoing events. There are also a number of new Daily Events added to the game. They offer bonuses for a wide range of activities, from additional loot and glory in hell gates to additional faction points or bonuses for gathering specific resources.
Local production bonuses change daily, offering time-limited benefits for specific items, this brings additional earnings for crafters, collectors, and merchants. Overall, the new daily events incentivize players to try new themes and areas in the game, while providing clear benefits to players who already specialize in individual areas.
VICTORY EMOTES AND TWITCH DROPS
Victory Emotes are prestige spells that automatically trigger after PvP kills, allowing players to properly show off and celebrate their victory. They include various celebration gestures and challenges, from guild banners to vines, spirits, and tombstones. For those players who want to focus on the battle, the emotes can also be disabled, and there are limits to ensure that there is no emote inflation in a large battle.
The emotes are available via the new Twitch Drops, which players can get by watching Albion Content Creators on Twitch. Along with the emotes, the Twitch Drops also include skins and community tokens that can be traded in for items, providing a way to earn rewards while supporting the community.
A new crystal arena with its own leaderboard is being added to the old arena. It takes place on the Crystal League map and has non-lethal match rules, giving newer 5 vs. 5 players a way to practice and earn rewards without having to risk and spend vast amounts of silver on new equipment. Players can sign up individually or with friends and will automatically be matched into teams of five.
Players earn Arena Rank points for their victories, which they can use to climb the leaderboards and earn new rewards, including silver, fame, seals, and tokens. The original arena queue has also now been merged into a single signup for single players and groups, which will then automatically create teams of 5.
NON-LETTLESS CRISTAL LEAGUE
With this update also comes a 5 vs. 5 crystal league with non-lethalrules, which will coexist with the existing league. It otherwise uses the rules of the existing league, but since equipment is kept after each death, it thus allows easier access for new players. The rewards are below the "full-loot" level, but they are still good incentives to improve and move up the ranks, and the higher level matches offer lucrative prize money. Matches take place on different dates than the full-loot league, so players can participate in both leagues, and the non-lethal league also offers qualifying opportunities for the prestigious Crystal League Championship during the off-season, though this will still be in the full-loot rulebook.
UPDATED GRAPHICS FOR RESOURCES
The graphics for static resources (stone, ore, wood, fiber) and their treasures have been revised and improved for better recognizability, making it easier for newer players to see the different levels of resources, and easier for veterans to see resources in more dangerous areas. The new graphics and enchantment effects reinforce the individual identity of each resource, making them easier to recognize and more fun to collect. The increasing value of different levels is more clearly displayed, and treasure-sized resource reservoirs now have updated graphics that pay more attention to the larger scale of this resource supply.
GENERAL GAME QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS
"Into the Fray" brings numerous improvements to overall game quality to the world of Albion. Equipment Lost allows for easy re-purchase / re-equipping after death, allowing for a quick return to the world. Crafting UIs now include search and filter fields to more quickly find a desired recipe. A new Silenced Player UI gives an overview of silences (mutes) with options for managing them, while the Individual Match UI allows for quickly setting up a risk-free practice match, and an improved Group UI gives more options for group management. The Return Journey skill and collection folios reduce long travel and level up times. And there are also numerous improvements and fixes to controller support, it is now available for mobile devices.
ADDITIONAL CHANGES AND IMPROVEMENTS
In addition to the above, this update includes many more changes and improvements, such as:
- Training dummies on islands
- New tooltips for the map describing adjacent zones
- Automatic use of demolition hammers on enemy buildings
- Improved low-level zones for new players
- 12 new icons for skills and 5 new Achievements
- Numerous balancing changes and UI fixes
Source: Official website