Allods Online Review: It’s not WoW
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
There have been a lot of MMOs lately that have taken the WoW interface and used it in their own MMORPG. Developers who have taken this route have had hits and misses which ended in the labelling of their MMORPGs as mere “WoW Clones”. Allods Online is a good example of such an MMO. You can see a lot of WoW elements incorporated to its interface and gameplay. However, what separates Allods Online from other half-baked MMORPGs is that it has managed to refine itself into an MMO that can get the attention of even a jaded gaming market.
I cannot deny the similarities that Allods has with World of Warcraft. However, I was very surprised that the game did not follow with a cinematic opening. Once you create your character (belonging to either the League or the Imperial side) you are immediately put into the middle of the action. The game practically puts you right in the middle of the story, which is similar to Dungeons & Dragons Online. You actually get to see how the story develops. On the League side you actually witness a change in the environment when you are invaded by the enemy. In the Imperial side you are given a taste of what you will be experiencing and what it means to be part of a ship. I was really taken aback with what I saw in the game because you can only experience these things when you’re playing a P2P MMORPG.
Interface at the inside of a Ship
Characters and Jobs
Character selection on the other hand reminded me of Neosteam. The Gibberlings were the Allod version of Neosteams furry Poms. Elves meanwhile, have wings. Yes, that’s right, all elves in Allod have wings (nice going Allods team, another game that exemplifies the “feminine” nature of elves, male or female. Personally though I’m a League summoner so I’m really complaining). The game pushes the archetypical classifications of a lot of the races found in MMORPGs. However I personally don’t think you will notice much because the character designs are so good.
The job system in Allods is similar to a lot of MMORPGs out there. There are no faction exclusive jobs in Allods. The job class’ names may be different but the classes have a corresponding “alternate” job in the opposite faction.
Allods mages are not overpowered. Magic spells can actually miss in Allods. Though the spells still retain the magic attribute, it is not guaranteed that they will always hit. According to one player who I was able to talk to, he mage is a crit type. Anyone and everyone who has played a lot of MMOs would think that is weird. However, based on what I experienced with my summoner, I think that’s a good way of allocating points.
Another unique system in Allods Online is that there is a stat allocation system. Unlike other MMORPGs of this calibre, you can allocate stat points. The levelling system in Allods is similar to a lot of stat based MMORPGs out there. It means that you get stat points whenever your character levels. There is still a job and class locked growth system in Allods but with the stat system in place, you can actually customize and create your own build. I personally think that the Allods game system is a refreshing take on character development. People who are used to mages always hitting and nuking inform the sidelines are forced to rethink their strategy in Allods.
Allods is a grinding, story-driven MMORPG. Your main way of levelling in Allods is through the quests, which NPCs will provide for you. Grinding alone will take a while because the quests provide more experience points. I think this levelling system really forces you to do the quests. A lot of players who are used to grinding will find it unacceptable that you are relying on quests to level up. Though I think this works well for Allods because it emphasizes that the game is story driven. However, relying heavily on quests in Allods may in fact be bad in the long run. Repetitive questing can take a toll on players and can eventually make them quit the game.
On board a flying ship
If you started the game with the Imperial faction, you’ve already experienced what a ship looks like. You eventually get to control your own Astral ship. Like in building real ships, owning one takes time and a lot of money. However the benefits of having a ship really outweighs the cons. You get to travel around and see the beautiful world of Allods. You can also experience ship-to-ship battles similar to what you experienced when you started with the Imperials. The Astral Ship experience doesn’t stop with just the creation. Astral Ships need to be manned too. Similar to real ships you need to have a navigator, helmsman, engineer, repairmen and of course gunners. I haven’t seen how this works in the real player perspective but as far as I can see this can work out especially if you have friends who can man those posts in your ship.
There are a lot of faction centric features in Allods Online. Most of them concentrate on faction vs. faction warfare. However there is one game system in Allods that doesn’t consider a groups faction in segregating players. It’s the official alternative for questing, PvE and PvP. It’s Goblinball. The objective of the game is to kick the goblin that serves as the ball into the enemy’s goal. Similar to soccer your task is to defend your goal while scoring. Goblinball is an enjoyable sport/mini-game to play. It successfully gives players another thing to look forward to aside from the daily grind.
Personally, when I saw the game trailer and heard of the pertinent game features I wanted to jump the gun and play Allods. Now it seems that I was justified on hoping that I would get myself into a great game. I don’t think Allods Online will ever topple WoW. However, Allods for sure will provide good competitive encouragement for MMO developers because there’s a F2P of this calibre. I cannot say that Allods is a perfect MMO at the moment, because it’s just in OBT. The game has a lot of potential and I’d be keeping my eye out for game updates in the future.