Albion Online has some pretty ambitious design goals as a top-down multi-platform MMORPG with free-for-all PvP. A few players have gotten a chance to try the earliest testing build out, and there were some obvious questions, enough for the development team to post several answers. While the game is still early in alpha testing, it's an interesting look at the design philosophy and how harsh the environment really will be.
The core of Albion Online is that characters don't have specific levels or stats raised via levels; instead, everything comes down to what you can craft, which is increased as you gain more fame. According to the answers, unarmored characters will all have about 1000 life points. Items constantly degrade and can be looted by other players in combat, which means that there's always a drive to get more items, but finding more valuable materials will require a trek to more dangerous parts of the world. Check out the full list of answers for more details on how the designers look to keep the game lively and interesting.
[Source: Sandbox Interactive press release]