Albion Online, the free to play sandbox MMORPG from Sandbox Interactive, has a few things going for it that really interest a certain group of MMO players. A fully player driven economy, being able to loot players, and a more sandbox feel are all items that some people love from more “old school” MMORPGs. Some of these features have tremendous downsides though and Sandbox Interactive is taking steps to try and counter those downsides.
When death carries consequences and players are able to be looted, this lends the game to zerg parties of higher leveled or geared players storming through an area in a large group killing all in their path. Albion Online wants to encourage these groups to be smaller (and hopefully a little less aggravating) by installing features such as Hellgates to push players to want to form smaller groups.
Killing demons out in the world has a chance to spawn a Hellgate. The catch? Only 5 players can enter this gate and be teleported to a dungeon full of opportunities to farm up souls (highly sought after crafting items.) Once inside the dungeon, you and your party will take on demons of various power and enjoy the spoils of your victory. The final boss at the end rewards players with plenty of sought after loot. But wait…you may not be in the dungeon alone.
You see, at the time your Hellgate spawned, another gate popped up somewhere else in the world and a second party of 5 adventures is free to enter as well. This means you could be in the dungeon with just your group, or a rival group could be sneaking around stealing your kills and maybe even setting your team up as the next target. PvP is enabled in these dungeons and with valuable souls on the line it’s winner take all.
Sure, it won’t totally destory zerg parties or anything, but if you need to collect some souls a small party is the way to do it! Check out the latest post on the Albion site for even more details.