Albion Online PvP Combat and Weapons T4 Transition Guide
Albion Online PvP Combat and Weapons T4 Transition Guide by Elenol
NOTE: This guide is designed for new players or anyone getting wrecked as they dip their toes into pvp and they don’t know why. If you disagree with anything I write in this guide, then you are not the target audience. I am, however, open to editing in suggestions. I should also be clear that I am far from an elite player at this game. There are thousands of players who understand this game better than I do. So I will reiterate that this is all meant to help new players transition to PvP. Thank you.
Let’s start with a few cool links for you all.
I highly recommend everyone take a look at Elsa’s Spreadsheet to see Armor & Weapon Skills. This is fantastic and it is my single favorite thing ever. This guide would have been significantly more work for me if I hadn’t been able to daydream over her spreadsheet for all of beta 3.
I also recommend you take a look at Ver’s Weapon Analysis. I never would have started this project if I’d known he was gonna go and do something so similar but better. If you ever want this kind of information but more presentable and succinct, look at his page instead. Also, his spreadsheet in general is super useful. I recommend bookmarking it while you’re learning the game. There’s lots of valuable links and information there.
And heck, while I’m linking all my favorites take a look at Tsurata’s Cheatsheet. It doesn’t have anything to do with this guide, but it’s cool.
Now for my guide.
Most MMOs have a class system with roles that usually fall under the Holy Trinity: Tank, Healer and DPS. In Albion Online however, your character is almost entirely the gear that they wear. So there is still the traditional class system of sorts, but it is easy to swap roles on the fly. The only downside to this system in my mind is that it now becomes difficult to truly understand how all the many weapons and armors compare to each other and it can be uncomfortable being unsure if you’re playing to your gear’s strengths and to your opponent’s weaknesses.
Take Warhammer Online and League of Legends, for example.
Your tanks in these games are your initiators and often a main source of crowd control for the team. You’re trying to peel enemy aggro off your more vulnerable healers and dps. Any time an enemy is attacking, you want to try to distract them into attacking you instead of your more fragile buddies.
Your healers usually do the healing and try to remove status inflictions and will do a little damage on the side if they’re able.
The dps try to position to avoid getting hit as much as possible while aiming to unleash as much damage on the enemy team as possible.
The roles are clear and it’s just up to the player to then make sure they utilize positioning and timing to help yourself and your team succeed.
But Albion Online is confusing. What is the difference in terms of damage and cc potential from swords, axes, maces, hammers, spears, daggers, quarterstaves, bows, crossbows, fire staves, ice staves, arcane staves and cursed staves? I know that Nature Staff and Holy Staff can both heal, but I assume they must do it differently. And we haven’t even mentioned the various off hand options or armors.
This is further complicated by the fact that each of those weapon groups have 5 variations. Take the Sword grouping for example. You have your 3 basic variations that include broadsword, claymore and dual swords. You then also have 2 artifact variations that are clarent blade and carving sword. How do these play different?
We’ll be diving in to each weapon group and will attempt to make some generalizations about each one. Hopefully we can come out of this with some loose idea of how to play with and against different weapon types.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at armor. Armor actually is what defines your role the most. But not just any armor. While you may think that your plate boots and hat should offer more protection than the cloth versions, they mostly do not. Statistically, your feet and head are almost identical for plate, leather and cloth. Often you’ll just be slotting items here for a skill that fits your desired role.
I say almost because every item in the game does have a passive skill that you can slot. For example lets compare T4 boots. You get to pick between two passives for each of your standard boots (non artifact). [NOTE: You can follow along by opening up your destiny board and comparing T4 armors if you like.]
- A) increase carry load by 45kg
- B) reduce damage by 2.5%
- A) increase carry load by 45kg
- B) increase attack speed by 3.5%
- A) increase carry load by 45kg
- B) increase damage & heal power by 3.5%
Other than this, your boots are statistically identical and are only differentiated by their slotted skills.
Hats are same story, second verse.
But what about chest armor?
This is probably the single most important piece of gear in deciding your role in Albion. If you look at the various T4 chest armors under plate, leather and cloth, you’ll see a lot of statistical information. Let’s try to sort through what’s important and what isn’t.
- Max HP
- Max Energy
- HP Regen
- Energy Regen
- Magic Resist
- CC Resist
- CC Duration
- Physical / Magic Attack Bonus
- Physical / Magic Ability Bonus
- Energy Regeneration Bonus
- Healing Cast Bonus
- Threat Generation Bonus
The unimportant stats have the same values for all standard T4 chest pieces. Your max hp and energy will be the same for plate and leather and cloth.
The important stats are what we’ll look at. Let’s examine the very sturdiest standard plate armor (Guardian), the very flimsiest standard cloth armor (Mage) and the most middle of the road leather armor (Hunter).
Guardian Armor is the heaviest of the plate armors. It offers the highest Armor, Magic Resist, and Threat Generation of any armor. It has no bonuses to your damage, healing or energy regen.
Mage Robe is the lightest of the cloth armors. It offers the highest attack and healing bonuses and energy regen, but offers the least amount of defenses and cc resist. It also has no threat generation which is helpful for PvE.
Hunter Jacket is the ultimate ‘middle of the road’ chest piece.
[NOTE: CC Duration is confusing. In general, plate > leather > cloth when it comes to bonus CC Duration. So broadly better defense = better CC Bonus. However within each of those groups, your best OFFENSIVE armor piece will generally offer the highest CC Bonus. So Soldier and Assassin chest armors all have the highest damage and CC Bonus of the plate and leather groups, but also have the lowest defenses. Cloth armors currently all have no CC Duration bonuses. I think this was tweaked repeatedly during beta 3 or I’m crazy.]
Each armor grouping will have 6 subcategories: 3 standard and 3 artifact.
For example a T4 plate armor selection includes the standard Soldier Armor, Knight Armor and Guardian Armor. These are 3 variations of tank gear. Soldier Armor does offer some limited offensive upside for example while Guardian Armor has no offensive bonuses and instead is strictly the best standard defensive armor.
T4 plate armor also includes the artifact Demon Armor, Royal Armor and Graveguard Armor. These will generally be slightly superior statistically and much more expensive. They will also offer added skill options.
[NOTE: If you’re concerned about artifacts being more powerful for the purpose of balance, by the end of the game with high masteries, things even out a bit. This is good. But for us low levels, artifacts will have a power gap for a while, so we’ll be mindful of that.]
Weapons — The Meat of Combat
I’m going to start off by listing every weapon category as it is organized by the game’s destiny board.
- Nature Staff
- Fire Staff
- Holy Staff
- Arcane Staff
- Ice Staff
- Cursed Staff
Each weapon group has 5 weapons — 3 standard weapons and 2 artifact weapons. Later I will denote artifact weapons with an asterisk.
The Basic Rules of Combat
RULE #1 – Melee usually beats Ranged in a simple beat ’em up style brawl.
Melee tend to have higher raw damage stats than ranged. This is generally especially true with the auto attacks. This means ranged characters are usually going to be trying to kite the melee in some way. If you take a ranged weapon, you rarely want to go toe to toe with a melee enemy!
In a 1v1, a ranged player will usually need to try to slot skills that increase mobility (via blinks or movespeed) or cc the enemy (slows, stuns, knockbacks, etc). A melee character will then want some sort of ability to counter the kite. CC helps a lot, but you’ll often want some means to reingage (a dash or sprint or blink for example).
In a group fight, the team with the ranged advantage will generally try to find a way to shift the battlefield while poking the enemies down looking for an advantage. The team with the ranged disadvantage will need to get a strong initiation on a glass cannon and attempt to lock that person down with cc. The melee team needs to find a way to bring their superior raw power to bear.
RULE #2 – Skills are generally a “zero sum” game.
This means you are often choosing between Mobility, CC and Damage/Healing. If you slot 2 damage skills and 1 mobility skill, you will almost never beat an opponent with 3 damage skills in a straight up brawl.
This especially has applications in an open world pvp situation. Let’s imagine you get ambushed by a solo enemy and you notice they have a lot of cc and mobility skills (to try to chase down gatherers who run away) and you happened to slot 3 damage skills. There is a good chance you can stand and fight and win even if they have superior gear. It’s important to stay mindful of how much raw power you’ve slotted on your character when you go into pvp situations.
RULE #3 – AoE when you can often hit more than 1 target
- AoE = Single Target if you can hit 2 enemies
- AoE > Single Target if you can hit 3+ enemies
There are a lot of exceptions to this. There are often times where you want to ff a single target as hard as you can for an early kill to open up an advantage the remainder of the fight, for example.
But in general in terms of raw damage output, AoE is OK even if you’re just hitting 2 targets. If you’re group fighting, the more aoe the better.
RULE #4 – Your Cooldowns heavily dictate your combat style
There are some weapons that can slot a number of high burst, high CD skills. You can unload your burst but then you are trading hits with someone who likely has an advantage for the next 15 seconds.
Let’s use Dagger Pair as our first example. We’ll use the following skills:
- Q Sunder Armor (3s)
- W Dash (7s)
- E Slit Throat (15s)
Q is decent damage. It’s roughly comparable to other melee Q skills.
W is a mobility skill. This means our raw power is diminished, but we gain flexibility in combat.
E is our primary source of damage. When we stack our Q x3, our E acts as an insane burst finisher.
If we’re fighting against an enemy meleecharacter, we’ll probably try to quickly build a couple stacks of Sunder Armor (Q) and then get a quick Slit Throat finisher (E). Once we’ve unloaded our burst of damage, we’re going to be relatively weak. So what we’re going to do is Dash (W) away from our opponent and try to avoid combat for several seconds while our Slit Throat (E) recharges. When Slit Throat is close to being available, then we will look to reingage.
If we’re fighting against an enemy rangedcharacter, the fight gets a lot simpler. We’re just trying to stick on our opponent the entire fight. We’re saving our Dash (W) for any funny business they throw at us to kite. We’re hoping our raw melee stats win the day for us. It is important to remember, however, that if the enemy did slot 3x damage skills (compared to our 2x damage skills), that they MIGHT be able to defeat us straight up. It’ll be close. However if we get a bad feeling about the fight, we should be able to use our Dash (W) to escape.
There are other, even more extreme cases than the Dagger Pair where CDs on weapon skills can reach 30 seconds or more. As a general rule, once you blow your load on the long CD abilities, you’ll want to stall the combat until those come back.
Now that we have the basics down, let’s look at each weapon group separately.
[NOTE: I think I’ve about tweaked the guide to where I want it. Let me know if you catch any mistakes or if you think we can improve on anything here or in the above Weapon Guides. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps!]