I wasn’t looking for another MMO, really, but a friend of mine recommended Albion Online and since I had never actually played a true sandbox MMO and it was free to download and play, I figured I’d give it a shot.
The character creator is as basic as it gets – there’s no classes or races or any of the usual MMO tropes. You pick a preset, adjust the cosmetics if you like, and plop in a name. Much to my surprise, I got the first name I tried.
There’s a tutorial that took me a little under an hour to get through, but shortly after leaving the tutorial island, the quest flow just stops. It’s not that you have to hunt for new quests – there just aren’t any more. They give you the very basic basics and leave you to it.
What Albion Online does have is a somewhat weird and confusing destiny board. I opened it up, and immediately noped right out of there. Too much to think about. Instead, I started concentrating on the smaller list in the upper right hand corner. I wandered around doing the things listed there, and watched my percentages go up.
Mostly, so far, I’ve gathered things, refined them, and used them to make tools. If there are vendors who buy your junk and give you money, I haven’t found one, but I have discovered that tools sell on the player market. Am I getting ripped off just selling them for whatever pittance I can get? Yes, I probably am. But I don’t need a dozen novice axes, so off they go.
I have managed to hit my first goal of being able to craft a fishing pole. Why did I want a fishing pole? I DON’T KNOW. Now that I’ve made myself one, I’ve started hunting for fishing spots and trying to figure out how to get the fish out of the water and into my bags.
What I’ve learned so far: You click and hold to cast; the longer you hold, the further out the line goes. You can cast the line right off the damn screen if you’re not careful. Once you get a bite and the bobber dunks, then you start a new little minigame. You have to keep the bobber in the green bar as the fish proceeds across the blue bar from left to right. It’s fiddly. It’s perfect for Albion Online.
I’m coming up on three hours now, and I still have almost zero idea what I’m doing, but I keep coming back, staying to the lowest level safe areas. I realize that soon I need to go further out to get higher level materials to do higher level crafting. Albion Online is horrendously grindy, but I’ve been satisfied by watching my itty bitty percentage bars increase, and have been trying to do enough every day to get my daily activity rewards.
Apparently, a big allure of the game is open world PVP, but I don’t even really like having to kill snakes for leather. This is probably not a game for me, and I say as much to myself every time I log off. And then I find myself opening it up over and over again to play just a little more. It’s not really clicking, but at the same time, it’s not quite scaring me away.