Albion Online: User Counter for Regions

Some guilds have complained about the following
it is possible to use unequipped/naked characters as scouts for PvP and as they do not have any gear to lose, this is essentially risk free
Related to this, there was the suggestion to remove the user counter for certain regions, such that it is not that easy to find out how many people are in a region when you enter it

Our views are as follows:

Naked Scouting
We agree that naked scouting is an issue that we would like to address if possible
However, we currently have no good solution for this.

Suggestions such as increasing the respawn timer will not really work, as you can easily get around this by using more characters for scouting and just cycling through them when one is subject to the respawn timer

Suggestions that impose a cost to dying are not feasible, as either the cost is too low for organised guilds or far too high for normal players who just happen to walk around under-geared and get killed


Suggestions to impose a minimum gear requirement to enter certain zones will not really solve the issue, but thus move it a bit. Naked scouting will become "lowest possible gear" scouting and will really not be that different. Also, we do not really want to close of zones to players that do not have strong gear yet

What we might consider is disallowing the "respawn in this region" function on death for certain regions. Thus, if you die and are not resurrected, you can only respawn in the closest city, closest guild territory or in your home. That solution would be very similar to how it is in Eve Online, where you can also scout with low value ships, but can not easily respawn in the region that you were killed in.

Still, even if we did this, we will likely have to get used to the fact that scouting is easily possible and will become a part of the open world guild vs guild experience, whether we like it or not.

Active User Counter for Regions
There is advantages and disadvantages in showing the number of active users in the zone when a player enters.

In safe zone clusters, the counter is not a problem and can certainly stay
In PvP zones, if we show the number, on the one hand it will encourge PvP (as you know that there might be a target in the zone), on the other hand, it discourages it as you might be warned early if another group is around.

If we removed the counter in all or certain PvP zones, we believe that professional guilds would use even more scouting (see above) to essentially get the same information that the counter provides.

All in all, we are undecided about the issue and will possibly run a test case by making certain regions have the counter and others not have it, and then analyse how this affects the player experience. Such a test would happen a bit later in our development cycle, as too many other things related to PvP are still subject to change