Friday, January 16, 2015

Allods Online, A pleasant return.




In my quest to find something casual and laid back to dabble with I decided to play Allods Online again. It has been quite a while and there have been server merges, as well as publisher changes. No longer is it a GPotato game (which is now Webzen). Instead it is part of  My.com and Mail.Ru, which is the Russian Allods developer, an extension of sorts. If you have an account that dates back before the transition, you must fill out a ticket, which appears to take quite awhile. I still have not heard back on my ticket from at least a week ago. However, I wanted to start fresh on the Empire side. No big deal.


The game has had a few changes. The classes do feel a little bit different mechanically. My summoner this time around feels a tad less powerful. I think that is simply down to poor build choice though, where I now see flaws with it. Some of the classes seem to outperform others, which could all balance out with runes and gear at the cap. My highest is sitting at 17, with my next highest closing in on 15. I have been playing a lot of alts and really enjoying it, getting a real feel for all the classes. The mechanics are different with each one and some are a real pleasure to play.

The game most resembles vanilla WoW. Or, perhaps, in a way the pace of combat reminds me also of Vanguard. It is relaxing and enjoyable for the most part. There are plenty of quests, no grinding needed, just grinding quests, heh. If you want to do a dungeon and can't find a group, you can always use mercenaries inside dungeons. They are quite powerful, and follow orders well.

There is a new gunner class, a mechanic of sorts who uses guns, flame throwers, grenades and all sorts of gadgets. This is all new to me, which wasn't in the game when I last played. This is a strong class with decent damage, who blasts enemies with fire and throws grenades in the faces of the enemy, while also having fun abilities such as turrets to use at their disposal. Very fun and engaging. Some of the more classic classes have had some changes as well. The warden had some changes for healing.

I'd have to say my favorites so far are my summoner (basically a warlock or necromancer class), and the warden ( a druid, beastlord type class). But the mentalist is another I found highly engaging and powerful, which can require some thought. I will be playing one of those too eventually.

Some things have changed and others have stayed the same. You still can buy runes to make your character more powerful, but in my opinion they don't seem to really make that much of a difference at level four and five runes. I would assume once you get to around level seven runes, they'd start to make the character feel remarkably more powerful. You can grind gold and purchase what you need for these runes, which will take a lot of time. Or you can simply purchase the needed requirements in the cash shop. You can even convert gems to gold.

If none of that appeals to you, or perhaps turns you off to the game, there is always the subscription server. Which does not have any cash shop items. There are different means for obtaining these things through the game without dropping anything more than the monthly fee. From what I hear the server isn't as populated. There is also a small experience bonus there as well.

Dire started playing as well. He started with a healer, which felt more like a paladin to him. Now he's moved onto a gunner for his first alt. I think in time he will eventually play a bard as well. He really enjoys the game so far. Our biggest problem is no mentoring system. There is a best friend system that allows players to teleport to each other, and play together in dungeons no matter what the level difference is. But the higher level player acts as a babysitter, morphing into an angelic creature which is only allowed to use special pre-assigned abilities. Not very fun, nobody wants to play a babysitting MMO. I think that needs a lot of work. It gets a B for effort, and a D in execution from me.

The world is large and very lovely. I personally love the art style. The character models are appealing to me as well. A horse helps with getting around in this large and lovely world, but the feed is still bought in the cash shop, which is a bit tedious as it needs to eat for every thirty minutes it is being used (summoned and out). That isn't a problem on the sub server though, unless you are broke I assume. There is also an auto run system, which I love. Your character follows a little ball of yarn to the designated quest area or NPC. It will even take you to NPCs on the map and teleporters if you choose to do so. The maps are pretty big, as well as the main cities, so this helps prevent a lot of lost time looking for quest areas. Which sometimes can be a real pain. I had so much trouble in DCUO, some of the maps were just so big I'd miss what I was looking for and run in circles forever. A much welcomed feature.

Talent points are still a part of this game, which is basically how you learn abilities and ranks. As well as rubies, these are another form of character customization on how you want to play. So there are four trees to dabble with, three using rubies and one using talent points. You gain both of these which each level.

The music is awesome. I have always loved the music in the game. One of the few where I actually do not turn it off. The login screen/ character creation music has changed over time, but it seems to always be something really great. I love the music in Allods.

I also can't help thinking of Wildstar when I play Allods. Ascetically. Not that Allods reminds me of Wildstar but how there are so many similar and cute and funny things in Wildstar that were reminiscent of Allods. From the races (seriously, the races, some of them, are wayyyy too similar), to the quirky things you find in the landscape. Even the buildings seem similar. You could even say Allods is reminiscent of WoW, which is true, but I don't get that feeling so much playing it. I just thought it was interesting, the similarities.

I don't honestly know what is in store for us at end game. I don't plan on raiding or anything like it. my days of raiding anything are long over. For now it is simply fun to quest and level. It reminds me much of those simpler times in WoW, back in the old days. Where classes felt different and unique. Where going out in the world felt like a real adventure.    


My pet, he's ranked up and ready to fight.

Waiting for a ship.

Dire and I.

An Arisen alt. 

Questing in the city.

Dungeon with dire and mercenaries. 

Dire and I entering a dungeon, me with the babysitter suit on.

My little druid and her cute pup!

4 comments:

  1. Oh! Cool to read about Allods, two friends and I had such high hopes for this game when it was in beta. Then the whole cash shop debacle happened and we let it Iie. I did log in last year at some point to check out my old characters and exactly as you say the game has some charm. I haven't been back on since the transfer of management so I guess it'd be rather a hassle to get up and running again but I suppose I should do it just to ensure they don't draw a line and condemn my old characters to digital oblivion at some point in the future...

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  2. Oh now you're making me want to play Allods again! I completely missed the change of management - not sure if I'd bother trying to get my one character restored or whether I'd just start over. Assuming I had time to play, that is.

    We got to somewhere in the mid-30s in beta on the side that has the gerbil triplets. Then I got into the teens on the other side a few years later. It's an MMO I always wish I'd played more. The subscription server is so ironic - had they gone with a sub model at launch and thereby avoided the huge P2W controversy they would have had a good shot at getting the kind of numbers FFXIV or GW2 have had I think. Maybe more - they had a good momentum going until they derailed themselves. Of course for all I know they did get those numbers - it's not like they publish population figures.

    Anyway, nice to see someone writing about the game again. I have quite a lot of free time coming over the next three months so who knows, maybe I'll find an opportunity to play a little Allods myself. Oh, and now you point it out, the similarities with WildStar are kind of striking, aren't they? How come no one seemed to notice that before (myself included)?

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    Replies
    1. It has been really enjoyable coming back, the game has had some nice tweaks and feels better overall. I never really had any complaints with it to begin with, more polish never hurts though! I agree with the sub server, it should have been something at release but I think that may have been to do with the former published, as the game feels a lot better as far as the item shop goes. It feels a lot more fair and the sub server sounds fantastic.

      If you decide to play, I look forward to reading your thoughts and following your adventures. My brother said the same thing on the similarities of Allods and WS, they don't jump out at you right away, in some areas it feels more obvious than others though, especially on the Empire side.

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  3. Very glad to have found this article on Allods! I just started playing it again as well.... Yesterday to be precise!
    However.... I felt as though you left out a lot of key features, and didnt make it sound too appealing. And it may be bacause im commenting almost a year later.
    I also played when it was gpotatoe.
    To note some key points....
    There is a new class(havent played yet, but you mentioned it)
    Recovering your account.... Is just that! Recovering your account! Not just a single character.... But all the characters linked to that account. When i went through the recovery process, i actually submitted my main and alt accounts. Which, were recovered when they finally responded(roughly 8 days later) and had merged both accounts to one. So i had allll my characters. Stats and talents are all reset, which was a huge positive in my book. But, i was missing a lot of gear! Negative!!! Ill soon recover it though.
    They reset professions, so you can relearn them. A bit negative, but can actually balance the scales if you think avout it. Alot of the prof items are changed. Theres no longer uncommon, rare, and purple? They merged them all to be just a single plant. Which is awesome! But does remove the fun of farming ;)
    The autorun to quest targets is amazing! I dont use it much. But it is very helpful when you want to run to the potty real fast;) or grab a drink.
    Thats all i can think of at this moment. Im sure ive missed a few note worthy changes. But.... I am tired! Good night. And i hope more players come back to, or begin to play :)

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