By Gabriele Giorgie (Darak), OnRPG Journalist
The developing studios gPotato, already well known for titles like Flyff, Rappelz and Dragonica, is now preparing a new MMORPG that promises to be quite peculiar in many of his features. We are talking about Allods Online.
This is not a "first game", but it's the third incarnation of a brand quite well-known in Russia, the first two chapters being fantasy-style RPGs. At the GamesCom in Cologne we had the chance to speak with Jamie McCormick, who showed us some of the more suggestive ideas of this new title.
The setting hangs in balance between different genres, like fantasy, science-fiction and steampunk, and the characters will journey through huge floating islands; to get there, it will be necessary to have a ship to travel the surrounding space in specific conduits. This simple assumption is what will bring the characters to experience certain intriguing features and game modes.
The ships, huge vessels of wood and metal that recall ancient galleons in many a way, will need to be managed by many people to operate at their fullest: while someone is at the wheel, someone else will have to take care of navigation, looking on a radar for obstacles and potential enemies, letting know everything to the helm quickly... and when the ship is under attack, one or more people will be needed to fire the cannons, obviously with the essential support of the helmsman, who will be in charge to manoeuvre in order to keep the flanks (where the cannons are positioned) towards the opponents.
Let's talk about repairs; granted, there is a team of goblins trained especially for it, but we all know they are not very bright creatures: some will have to tell them what to do, won't he? And those who have no particular task will be needed as well, should the enemy manage to board the ship, in order to defend the hold with the treasure.
In conclusion, a real cooperative game mode, conceived to promote teamplay and coordination among the crewmembers (you will be wise to use applications like TeamSpeak or similar). And should you stumble upon the most dangerous "astral demons", one ship alone will not be enough, but you will need the coordinated efforts of at least three of them to take just one of those huge monsters down.
Of course the game will take place on land as well, where our avatar will be able to walk around and explore different "Allods", with unique themes and neat graphics. As usual, here you will have options like buying and selling goods, embark on quests or even relax with games like, for example, "goblinball"... What is that? Well, it's quite simple, you see: just take football, and replace the ball with a goblin!
We will find something new in the races as well: there will be usual humans and semi-humans, orc-like creatures and undeads, but also floating beings and, most of all, the funniest race in the game: the gibberlings. They are three cute little creatures that will act in each and every aspect like one. To give you an example, imagine them shooting with a bow: one holds the weapon, the other hands him the arrow and the third one aims!
Everything will be made in a sort of manga-style: after all, gPotato is quite renowned for it, with its titles. Oh, and, last but not least, like the other games in their catalogue, Allods Online will be Free to Play, with a micro-transaction system inside the game itself.
If this preview intrigued you, just try and sign up to the Closed Beta.