Allods Online: A Whole Different Beast
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
Allods Online is a free-to-play 3D fantasy MMORPG developed by the Russian company mail.ru. This free online game has been published by multiple publishers all over the world and has had a successful career since launch. I have played this game before when it was in the closed beta phase a few years ago, and heard this beautiful F2P title had undergone some major changes so went in on assignment to give them game a second look.
Luckily the friendly crew at gPotato gave me two high level characters so I could get a feel for the changes to both low and high end content. What I did not know before I logged into the account is that I was given a really expensive character. Since I had played the game before and know the basic mechanics, I got started by asking around to see what the community thought about the game. The community of Allods Online is really one of the best I have ever seen, and the high level players were more than willing to show me around and get me into some of the end-game content. They immediately recognized I was sporting some near GM level gear and invited me to the arena to see if I could put it to good use. Since I always have been a big fan of PvP I decided to go along and join my new friends and hone my character's skill combos.
Beyond my gear, I soon realized that even the runes I was provided with were outlandishly strong. Some of the runes weren’t even released publicly yet so I felt almost like a walking advertisement for gPotato's upcoming content as players stared, perplexed by my armor/rune combo. I was often mistaken for a GM and asked tons of complex questions that I had no way of answering.
After entering into the arena I was forced to quickly learn my role. I was playing on a high level Skald that specialized in ranged magic strikes. The first person I faced was no match for me at all, and I easily one shot him surprising the big crowd that gathered around the arena. Many others tried to go in but were no match in 1 on 1 combat. Soon they all had a taste of the sand, even despite their furious combos. This caught even more eyes and before I knew it I was inundated with whispers inviting me to test my power in a skirmish. I have to give gPotato props for killing two birds with one stone by offering OnRPG a chance to review their title while simultaneously using me as a mini-event to entertain their playerbase.
Skirmishes are the battlegrounds in Allods Online and feature large faction vs faction team battles. To win the Skirmish the player has to do various objectives and currently there are three Skirmishes in the game the player is able to participate in. The other faction I was matched up against was in for a shock as I cut down their team in a fury of magic strikes before they could reorganize and retaliate. The general consensus among my foes was to make distance until they could figure out a proper tactic to overcome my OP character. To my surprise my invincible Skald has an Achilles's Heel.. my complete lack of Willpower. Stuns were absolutely crippling to me and combined with strong magic spike damage, I could slowly be brought down with a coordinated attack. I soon discovered that even the best gear in the game is no match when faced with 20 coordinated CC strikes at once!
After finishing the skirmishes my group of loyal followers decided it was time to strike back against our foes in a more meaningful way. I boarded one of their zeppelin blimps and we set sail to the enemy faction's capital city to wreak some havoc! Before I continue with that though I have to say the air ship traveling system is pretty wild. You really feel like a crew of sailors as you traverse the unknown taking on huge monsters along the way. Players steer the ship, man cannons, and all sorts of fun mini-games to keep things afloat and on course. I hear you can even have PvP battles aboard these vessels and wish I had the chance to experience such an event.
Like sky vikings raiding an unsuspecting city, we quickly cut down a large group of unsuspecting players as soon as we docked. Unfortunate this was about the total extent of our city raiding plan and we soon found ourselves facing the wrath of the entire city as 50+ players gave chase to our merry band of thugs. In an attempt to lose them, we snuck into a secret passage in the hope that we could emerge elsewhere and unleash more chaos throughout town. Unfortunately the secret passage wasn’t as secret as we thought and again we got chased by a lot of players. After a while we decided to return back to our lands and try something else. On our way back some people from the other Faction logged into new characters and started to whisper me welcoming me in the game. The community in this game is really really friendly and no one seemed too angry over PvP as they tend to be in games like this.
Since I had a lot of fun fighting against other players I decided to check out some of the PVE content. The player is able to group up with other players from the same faction to run various dungeons. Dungeons are the typical fair in which players team up to take on a series of instanced monsters and various types of bosses. The game seems to follow the trend of running dungeons in a set level bracket to obtain stronger gear so you stand a chance against the next tier of dungeons. There are multiple dungeons all over the world for everyone and all sorts of levels, as expected since Allods has had plenty of time to implement additional content since launch. While the loot may be the primary reward, with a community as great as this I found the player bonding to be the real treat.
Allods Online has a different style of art than many other MMORPGs and it looks drawn from some perspective. I am really fond of the graphics in general and the environment and character animations flow together flawlessly. To play this beautiful game you will need the following computer specifications:
Windows XP, Windows2000, DirectX 9.0
? Intel Pentium III 1.5 GHz
? 512 MB RAM
? NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 64 MB / ATI Radeon 9600 64 MB
? Screen with resolution 800x600
? Graphics card requires Pixel Shading of 2.0 or higher
? DirectX-compatible audio card
? 4 GB HDD
? ADSL 56k
Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows2000, DirectX 11.0
? 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / AMD Athlon X2
? 1024 MB RAM
? NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB / ATI Radeon X1600 256 MB
? A display supporting resolution of 1024x768
? Graphics card requires Pixel Shading of 2.0 or higher
? DirectX-compatible audio card (support for 5.1 with 64 channels)
? 4 GB HDD space
? ADSL 56k Internet Access or faster
? Equipment for voice communication (microphone, headphones)
Allods Online is actually a lot of fun, and feels fun straight out of the gate rather than forcing you to work for it. Players of any level can always find something exciting to do, whether it be dungeon running, exploring the world in air ships, or PvP battles. Of course it ties all of this together in a world so beautiful that it makes you wonder how it could be F2P. The initial complaints of Allods cash shop being over bearing has mostly been resolved thanks to gPotato closely monitoring community feedback since launch. While the current cash shop is in no way necessary, I'd feel obligated to spend just as thanks for providing its player-base with such a fun experience. If you are a big fan of MMORPGs but especially a sucker for graphics and well developed content, then check out Allods Online. It's definitely a top pick among the current MMORPG Fantasy titles on the market.