RuneScape was the first MMORPG I ever played. Little did I know that this relatively small game, programmed in Java, would go on to be one of my first real obsessions in life. While the game seems rather alien to me now, I fondly remember the Saturday mornings I spent mining and selling vast quantities of coal. I remember when they introduced armor with colored trimming around the edges, and I remember when they introduced the ability to dye capes. I waited, along with thousands of others on my server, clicking relentlessly on the dye merchant because she could only talk to one player at a time.
Like RuneScape, Albion Online is a game all about figuring out what you want to do and pursuing it. You’re not caged by any overarching story or linear progression that forces you to grind to the maximum level. Instead, Albion Online gauges the power of a player largely by what equipment they’re wearing. While there is a branching tree that you can use to unlock various bonuses towards certain activities, much of your worth is derived from the gear you have equipped and what abilities are crafted into the gear.
The result is that Albion Online is a very flexible experience that, like RuneScape, rewards players who aren’t afraid to just dig in and get messy. Albion Online doesn’t force you to become a warrior if you’d rather be crafting, and every pursuit is designed to be equally satisfying.
Look, I’m sorry that I keep suggesting MMORPGs that aren’t fully released, but if anything that just goes to show how many exciting things we have to look forward to! Project: Gorgon should absolutely be one of them. Developed by a team that has quite the lineage with MMORPGs (they helped develop Asheron’s Call 1 and 2). Project: Gorgon is an attempt to resurrect what made the genre so enticing to begin with.