SwooooooleBenji here! I'm going to fill you in on if Albion Online is worth playing in 2021. The game has massively changed since the start of 2020 and I'm going to tell you all about it. Let's get started.
I want to start with PvP. One year ago the game had a major focus on world PvP. If you wanted to do anything, you had to go out into the world to do dungeons and farm for resources. Well, that's changed. With the corrupted dungeons patch, most people fame farm in an instanced dungeon that only allows one vs one fights.
Furthermore, the roads of avalon has made gatherers in big guilds that control these roads have a major advantage over those that don't. The roads have a massive surplus of resources and mobs that can be farmed for a very large amount of resources in a short amount of time.
So instead of going to the red and black zones, players now just farm farm by themselves in an infinitely repeatable dungeon that they can run over and over without ever leaving or being in danger of more than 1 player at a time, and gatherers chill in private discord guild communities cut off from the rest of the game.
A patch planned for later this year will change the way faction PvP works. Currently if you faction flag you get major rewards with the risk of being vulnerable to death in blue and yellow zones. With the planned changes, faction flagging will no longer put you in danger of losing your gear in blues and yellows. Not only will this ruin the faction cape market, it will cause massive dominating factions, mainly Martlock and Lymhurst, to control the entire map.
Have you ever played Planetside? This is what the game is going to become. As soon as Martlock or Lymhurst take over part of the map, everyone is going to re-flag as them then join the winning side, which is something faction fights already do.
What about the crystal league? Well over the past year the leagues have been nothing but win trading and mount selling. Basically groups take a large sum of silver to win X amount of crystal leagues so everyone in the guild receives a combat mount. This has been on-going for most of 2020 and it won't stop in 2021. If anything the new rewards make it one of the best fame farms in the game, which will segregate players even more from venturing out into the world as the original games developers intended.
To sum up PvP, this game is less of an open world full loot PvP fantasy game and more of a zerg vs zerg arcade combat PvP Planetside with medeival weapons and magic.
///// The Moderation
This game used to be renowned for its freedom of speech. Many people quit Blizzard games over being censored and muted over minor banter. This game used to allow you to say very naughty things in the chat as long as it wasn't American politics based. One year ago you could say some nasty phrases and the game masters would banter right back at you. This has changed, massively. Well, only for English speakers. Other languages in the game are free to say anything they want without any punishment.
The chats are constantly crawling with mods and gm's, which for this video, we will refer to as jannies, or janitors. If you say any vulgar words, any agressive sentences, or any descriptive words, a janny will anonymously flash a warning on your screen that you're being toxic, or you're being aggressive.
If you decide to talk about the warning you got on screen, you will be muted for two days for "talking about moderator decisions." If you email support or even call them up in real life they will never, ever tell you what it is you said to merit the mute, they will never answer or even suggest words you said that enabled your mute. I have plenty of accounts and have tested the waters. I've been muted for saying the following:
Mud, hotdog, soup, noodles, hamburger, rottweiler, Chad, Them. Yes, the word "them" was apparently aggressive. These words, are literally pre-schooler words used in a joking or harmless manner. But guess what? Remember when I said other languages were immune to this? I switched to German and said some very… interesting German words for hours in the chat in front of game masters active in the chat, and was warned once for not speaking English.
So what this causes, and what actually happens in the game, is the majority of people use the English channel for Turkish and Pinoy, or phillipino, groups and banter. The amount of English speakers pale in comparison to other languages which walk all over the English chat. But the second an American talks about politics or their president or anything of the sort, they are two day muted for it. The day America had its voting results declared or whatever it is, there was FIVE game masters and THREE chat mods , EIGHT total jannies, muting people for talking about it. Imagine that. NO OTHER GAME moderates or punishes chat in this regard.
When you're muted, you literally can't do anything. You can't do groups, you can't banter with people you're ganking, you can't trade, you can't party, nothing. You're basically soft-banned from playing. Oh and if you're a youtuber like me and the gamemaster knows your alt names, they will be muted for "mute evasion" even if you pay three subscription fees on each account. I ran SIX accounts each with 3 subscriptions at 10 dollars each, ALL muted for calling someone a hotdog. I am not even joking. I literally spent $180 to be treated like this. It's absurd. But for real, I didn't spend real money I earned those subscriptions in-game. It's a joke.
Lets say you want to take it to Discord, or their forums. You will have your forum posts edited, deleted, altered, and even locked from you editing your own posts if you have a conflicting opinion. If you anger ONE person on Discord, you are perma-banned. I had a guy ping me on their discord talking mad crap. I talked crap back, he pinged a discord janny, deleted his comment, and I'm the one that's banned. Not that I care honestly, but this games social aspect is so overly moderated that you should NEVER, EVER talk in this game if you can help it. The subreddit seems to be the only place I've tested the waters where you can actually share opinions and banter but I've had a few posts deleted there as well. I guarantee that SBI or Stillfront or whoever runs the game won't like this video and will try to get it removed, rather than fix the actual problems of their game.
///// Privileged Gamers
Now I want to talk about the upper class of people in this game. In Albion players are not equals. There is a special class of Albion player. These are known as members of the round table. This isn't a guild or a group of friends. These are players hand picked by developers where they have inner circle secret discussions with the game. It's guild leaders of massive guilds, content creators who bend the knee and suck the toes of the developers, you know the ones, and very oldschool players, as well as active players on the forum, and even some of the biggest scammers and thieves the game has ever seen. Sounds cool, right? Wrong. These inner circle gamers get access to insider information long before anyone else and bend the markets to these changes. Anyone that tries to expose them on the forums or subreddit get deleted and banned. Most of these players have been exposed to real money trading with no punishments at all.
These players also get special camera controls to help film videos, game master commands to spectate other players to film zerg fights in live streams, and special tags in chat to advertise their dead twitch channel.
There's another class of privileged gamer, and that is users of private API's. An API is a tool that analyzes the markets and other things in the game to allow people with super secret websites and programs to immediately analyze markets to make big profits. Private API's allow people to map out the avalonian roads, defeating the entire purpose of them. They allow people to see when to craft a certain item to flip it, when to bring goods to the black market for massive profits without ever manually doing the work, as well as when to buy out certain items to salvage. API's can help guilds manage their armies and re-gears but they put us regular gamers at a severe massive disadvantage, and make us lower class citizens as we can never compete economically with their programs. The worst part, is that SBI or Stillfront or whatever we're calling the company now, allows this openly.
And now there's another privilege we need to talk about. Guilds. If you are in one of the major guilds you have a major advantage over someone who chooses to live a more free life. By being a slave of a major guild you can almost free farm roads, tier 8 areas, and other controlled zones with almost no risk from solo players. You can also utilize black zone crafting for maximum return rates and associate discounts in major towns. The downside is you're expected to fight for the guild and all the grinding you do earns the guild master challenge points for siphoned energy. Many people are forced to make this trade off and deal with abuse from these guilds just to be in-line with everyone else.
Basically you're at a major disadvantage trying to play this game in 2021 if you aren't a knee bending content creator, I sure as hell am not, if you aren't in private discords using API's and bots or hacks, which I'll cover in a bit, in a massive zerg guild being screamed at for using the wrong passives or non-meta items in a fight, you're going to have a very bad time.
///// Bots, hacks, cheats.
A year ago this game was very good at eliminating botters. You could report a bot, and a game master would take care of it in minutes. Hours at the worst. Now, bots take weeks or even months before they're banned. Bots have gone out of control. Bots that clear dungeons, bots that clear the tutorial zone and collect 3 day premium to be focus farmers, bots that fish, bots that gather, etc.
Get this: There are even beggar bots that sit in town collecting money. There are SCOUT bots stationed outside each town that automatically send messages to you on Discord if someone faction flags up with a certain threshhold of loot, and other bots scattered around safe zones that will report on their movements.
At some point redditors formed a bot busting group where they went around bullying bots. SBI's jannies came into the discord, assumed power, and then advised us not to do it, and to just report them instead, and also started kicking active bot hunters out. That's very suspicious. The discord owner was eventually threatened as most IRL bot mafias do. I have a video on my channel of the same thing happening over World of Warcraft bots, and the bot busting community vanished.
Hacking in this game is no joke. There are hacks to have infinite cooldowns, speed hacks, hacks that auto combat-log you out, hacks that one shot the enemy player, and hacks that give the player a radar and insane awareness of every resource node and player in the area, as well as packet sniffing players deep inside dungeons. You can go to the official forums hack reporting section and see all the threads. You can add these hackers names to grant access to a chest on your island, and when they get banned they become a deleted character. I've added names to his hacker chest and it's taken MONTHS for them to become deleted. Even if I send video evidence, which are never, ever viewed by SBI, nothing is done. I've even been chat muted for 2 days for calling out bots names and their locations in English chat.
The economy is massively ruined by this. If you want to be a crafter in this game you'll need to travel to each blackzone hideout crafting area with focus alts to even profit at this point. Dungeon loot is based on the black market and due to avalonian roads and corrupted dungeons being free farmed without anyone to stop them dungeon loot is mostly dried up. Starting in 2021 will be extremely rough for new players. The price of gold, which is used to buy premium, has shot up massively as well and is continuing to rise.
People are exploiting referral rewards to have indefinite sources of income. You can refer your own account and pay for premium which gets you a skin that sells for more than the cost of premium so within an hour of doing this you can have an amry of focus dump characters and a surplus of silver from selling the unicorn skin. This is intentional to inflate subscriber counts for the game. Bots are doing this by the thousands every waking hour of every day, running 20+ stacked multiboxed characters through the tutorial at a time. Nothing is being done about any of this, and you want to know why?
///// Sell outs
SBI has sold out to a Swedish company called Stillfront Group. SBI has no care and no reason to moderate their game any longer except to torture English speakers in chat for calling someone a hotdog. Stillfront paid $160 million dollars, which is quite shady as the company itself barely has double that, and are technically 250 thousand in debt. Weird how they can buy out a company but have debt? Very odd indeed. Not only is Stillfront publicly traded, their roster of games are literal who games, no one plays them and no one has heard of them.
If anything Stillfront might turn Albion into a huge pay to win fest in 2021. We've seen it countless times when games get bought out. Their other games are very pay to win. They have to make that 160 million back somehow, right? They aren't going to do it through in-game silver subscriptions or gold sales, that's for sure. Also if you look at Stillfronts executives I definitely wouldn't want to work for them or any company they're in charge of. I won't go into why but I used to live a corpo lifestyle and certain leaders are just massive failures. I won't go into reasons here but you can ask me on Discord if you're interested.
That about wraps it up. So is Albion Online worth playing in 2021? Hah! HAHAHAAHAH! HAHAHAHA! NOPE! NOT AT ALL! As always, Be a Bro and Stay Swole, return your shopping carts and I'll see you in the next one.
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