Sandbox Interactive has shed some light on the unique equipment and crafting customization system in their upcoming cross-platform Sandbox MMO, Albion Online. With a player-driven economy and territorial-based PVP, crafting and equipment are a centerpiece of the Albion Online experience.
In Albion Online, players craft items and onto these items spells, which are then available to them once an item is equipped. Because any item can be combined with any spell, and vice versa, there are nearly endless possibilities for combination! Needless to say, this system offers a huge depth in terms of combination and how each individual player opts to set up their individual characters.
“Let’s say you want to craft a tier-two broadsword: currently, there are 30 different meaningful spell setups for this sword with room for expansion,” says David Salz, Technical Director for Albion Online. “What was important for us in designing this is that a weapon, although it has a lot of possibilities, still has a certain characteristic. So our broadsword is a bit more of a defense-oriented weapon.”
This Rock-Paper-Scissor style equipment division is seen throughout the game. In comparison, a one-handed battle axe is focused more on close combat, direct damage spells; to complete the triangle we have a Paladin Hammer onto which players can craft a variety of healing spells and buffs. This system makes it easier to read players during fights just by looking at a character: when someone with an axe is charging, you can anticipate some heavy damage, while if an opponent is wielding a one-handed hammer they're more likely to be a healer.
These comparisons also extend to gear load-out, so that cloth armor leans more towards mana regeneration, stealth, energy shields, or cleanse, while plate armor is more about armor, instant self-heals, and survival mechanics. Whether players will play up the natural enhancements of a piece of equipment or choose a spell or attribute that will give them a more balanced approach will be up to individual choice - and there’s no single “cookie cutter build” that will be the one correct answer.