Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Day in the Life of Allods’ Community Manager

A Day in the Life of Allods’ Community Manager

By PioPico, gPotato Representative

Greetings! I’m PioPico, a community manager for Allods Online, and I’m the one that creates these cool blog entries for your viewing pleasure. Past blog entries we have shared with you have revolved around going in depth on new in-game features. I wanted to add some variety to this week’s blog entry by providing you with something more personal and light-hearted. I’m going to share what a typical day is like for your Allods community manager. Also throughout this blog I’ll share some fun pictures taken from past events I’ve done with the Allods community.



A player challenged me to listen to a Pikachu song loop for 10 hours on YouTube. I completed the challenge and in the end, I did not receive the hand-drawn picture of Pikachu in a tuxedo that I was promised. However, I did experience bleeding ears and a cool story that I could share.


I start off my morning by checking emails from my fellow Allods teammates – Condulus and Shockpix – for any important announcements or tasks they need me to do. From there, I check the forums to see what new discussions the community has created throughout the previous night. It’s great to see how helpful the community is with answering each other’s questions about the game and just generally being active with feedback. And no gaming community would be complete without its fair share of troll posts so those get sent to the garbage bin 😉


As publishers, one of our main responsibilities is to review community feedback regarding the game and share the feedback with the developers. While some people email their suggestions to our team, most of the feedback is posted on our forums. Besides reading discussions on the forums and replying back with our thoughts on the topic, we compile the feedback and bug reports to bring to the developer’s attention.


I also check and reply back to all private messages sent to me on the forums, although 50% of them are requests for help with issues in the game where I refer them to submit a support ticket. We want to be consistent and make sure we don’t miss everyone who needs help. While I understand it may be easier to send a forum message to a GM requesting help, there is no tracking system with our forums so resolving issues through an official support ticket is the way to go!

One of the most memorable events is we had players record themselves copying dance moves from characters in Allods Online. Condulus and I showed our Allods pride where we created a video that showed our dance moves to promote the event. You can check out the dance video below.


One thing we pride ourselves with is a quick turnaround for the customer support tickets sent in. It’s a responsibility that is shared amongst our entire team. I’ll start off by checking how many new tickets we currently have in our inbox as well as tickets that I am currently in communication with for some players. I’ll always make sure I respond back to players I’ve already been in contact with first since their inquiry was reported at an earlier time. Responding back to customer support tickets isn’t a one-time deal and neglected for the rest of the day either. It’s something that we check throughout the day, so if there are not too many tickets sent in and we’re in effective beast mode, it’s possible you may get a response within the hour!


During my lunch break is also when I’ll check out my Facebook account that I created for my GM alias – PioPico. Facebook is a great way to reach out to people so I created the account earlier this year as another method to get to know the Allods community on a more personal level. You’ll often see me posting random pictures from IRL and random informal shenanigans. It’s a place for me to goof around and be sillier.

This is a picture from one of our many maintenance games that we host every week. This picture was an example for a scavenger hunt where we told players a letter and they needed to take a picture of an object in real life that starts with that letter.


Something that doesn’t happen on a daily basis but is one of my main roles is planning events. I try to come up with a diverse amount of events for the forums, Facebook, or in the game. The amount of events we plan often depends on the workload of other projects that take priority, such as getting ready for a patch update with new content. Fortunately, our other community manager Shockpix is a champ at handling the game’s localization, the bulk of our workload for new patch updates.


Going back to events, I’ll create a schedule a month in advance of the events we’ll run for the community. Most of the contests I plan for the forums or Facebook reward winners with Premium Crystals, a form of Item Shop currency that players use to purchase items from our Item Shop. Events in the game offer more variety though, giving anything from in-game items, global bonuses (increased experience, increased monster drops), or even just a chance to hang out with the GMs with blinding fireworks and snowball-in-your-face fun! These types of events are important for a happy community since it brings added entertainment to the game. It makes the community’s ingame experience that much more special while allowing me to express my creativity in a virtual space.


However, bigger events that require more coordination such as login events or real life prize giveaways is something the whole Allods team brainstorms together. Those types of events will always have set-in-stone dates for the best execution and positive feedback from the community.

Since event planning requires a creative mindset, I prefer to plan future events outside of the office. I like to plan events over a drink or snack at a coffee, boba, or smoothie place.


The day continues until about 6:30 PM when I typically leave the office for personal activities. There are some issues that can only be resolved by meeting players while they are logged in the game, so I’ll plan to stay later in order to meet up with some players who may be living in time zones that are outside of our active hours of operation. I just wish there were more hours in a day to respond back to everyone in the community before the day comes to an end.


The tasks I covered are the bread-and-butter that define my role as a community manager. There are other projects I work on that may not occur on a daily basis, such as writing these blog entries, but the variety of tasks available are one of the wonders of being in this position. It’s all about customer service and keeping the community cool. Being a community manager is never dull as each day brings in new challenges and situations, often bringing a smile to my face in the form of a “thank you” from a member of our community. From my time spent as a community manager, I understand that the more you give, the more you get.

WoW Wednesday – The Launch of Meh (5.0.4)

WoW Wednesday-The Launch of Meh (5.0.4)

By Meredith Watson, OnRPG WoW Reporter




Patch 5.0.4 was released yesterday, August 28th, in the US and this morning, August 29th, in the EU to mixed reviews.  After waiting most of the day due to extended maintenance for the US ( Blizzard clearly found the problem and had EU up by around 11am) the overriding theme was one of “meh”. It seems as if everyone is just a bit blasé about the whole thing.  Even Blizzard couldn’t be bothered to name the patch. It is just 5.0.4. Meh.



The forums and even twitter are awash with comments on the patch and how classes are broken or classes are over powered. There seems to be a common feeling in that the new talents are meaningless and quite often PvP focused.   Normally though the official forums are all up in arms come any sort of messing about with the classes.  Not so today. It does feel as some are making a half-hearted attempt to stir up trouble but gone are the heated debates it seems.



It isn’t all bad though. One of the major changes is the account wide mounts, pets and achievements. I was personally looking forward to this as I have been playing since the beginning and have characters that have since retired but had acquired some nifty mounts or achievements. It is good to see those things now on characters I am currently playing.  It was a bit shocking to see how many pets I actually had given; I’ve never considered myself a collector.  It is interesting to note that duplicates of certain pets do show in the pet tab meaning you can fight with all of the duplicates.  Speaking of the Pet Battle system, it isn’t live but will be introduced with Mists of Pandaria.  I have already been building my teams in anticipation.



Feats of Strength are also account wide now.  I do like this if for no other reason than bragging rights.  Upon logging in this morning I was awarded two new Feats of Strength for pre-purchasing the digital deluxe edition of Mists of Pandaria with the Imperial Quilen Mount and Quilen pet.



There are quite a few class changes. Whether or not they are good or bad is up to the player to decide.  I didn’t like the fact that rogue off hands were normalized meaning it no longer matters if you have a fast offhand and slow main hand which used to be the old compensation.  It was a thing that rogues knew. Okay, it was a thing good rogues knew. I would like to say I do like the using of poisons now as a buff versus applying to the weapon. However, I will miss the green poison effect dripping off my blades.  Rogues, remember when we had to make our poisons? We’ve come a long way.



Gone are the days of the melee hunter much to everyone’s relief no doubt.  The ranged weapon slot has been removed so now the hunters bow or rifle will go in the main hand slot.  This goes for all classes. Casters will no longer be able to equip wands in the ranged slot but will be able to in their main hand.



The Battle of Theramore event is supposed to be live the week before Mists of Pandaria is and at this point I am not holding out much hope for anything particularly epic.  I want it so badly to feel like the Dark Portal opening event,  Ahn’Qiraj event, or the Sunwell event. I have a sneaky suspicion the Battle of Theramore will be equally as lacklustre as the Wrath of the Lich King event or the Cataclysm event.



Blizzard has always been rather unapologetic when it comes to their game. From downtime to nerfs, it has always been their way or the highway but it does feel as if they are ceasing to care about their game and to a degree, us, the community. Or maybe, like the rest of us, Blizzard just feels a bit “meh” about the Mists of Pandaria.


Gamescom 2012: C9 and Arctic Combat

Gamescom 2012: C9 and Arctic Combat

By Shannon and Jonathan Doyle, OnRPG Journalists




While at Gamescom we got the chance to meet with a few people from Webzen. You may know them for games like Continent of the Ninth Seal (C9) which released earlier this year and Arctic Combat which is currently in beta. During our meeting we got to hear about upcoming plans, learn a bit more about both those games and we even got to play them for a bit. This was the first time I had played C9 and while I was playing it Ardua was trying out Arctic Combat for the first time.


Before I get into the plans coming up for C9 I feel like I should talk about it a little bit. It is a beautiful 3D fantasy, action MMORPG which was developed by Cloud 9 Studios and is published globally by Webzen (though it is also published by several other groups in Asia to allow for the best localization possible). There are 13 unique classes which fall under four base classes.

Fighter: Warrior, Blademaster, Guardian, Berserker
Hunter: Assassin, Scout, Ranger, Shadow
Shaman: Elementalist, Illusionist, Taoist
Witchblade: Warden, Slayer

It has both pve, which is what I tried out and pvp elements. In the pvp experience there are several modes to choose from. They include, Teammatch, Deathmatch, Relay and Ranking Matches. There are also competitive pvp tournaments. The EU championship was held at Gamescom. The tournament in North America will be coming up in October and the World Championship will be held at G-Star in Korea at the start of November.


Combat is very free compared to other games. You don’t have to have a target selected. There are combo skills which are a ton of fun to play with as well as being visually amazing. Speed is an important part of combat. And best of all if you find the keyboard/mouse combination to be a bit awkward C9 does support joypads.


So! I said there were some things upcoming! I didn’t lie. Scheduled for release on September 5th is the first major update to C9. It’s being called 4th Continent and will introduce the ancient city Okapia. The level cap is going to be raised from 50 to 57. New content includes a lottery system which gives you a chance to win unique items from killing monsters. There will also be a skill book which will allow you to upgrade skills. On September 19th comes a new class update. These dates are of course subject to change, but keep your eyes out for news on them in my daily news article Shotgun News.


I had a fantastic time trying out C9. And though I wouldn’t take part in the pvp aspects of the game because I’m just not competitive enough I could easily see myself playing the pve aspects of the game. Even if the critters are sometimes just too cute to kill. Keep an eye on OnRPG’s giveaway page as we’ll soon have access codes to get you into the 4th continent beta test.


At the same time as Leliah was coming to terms with killing cute things, I got to grips with Arctic Combat and killing not so cute things. Well unless grizzled soldiers are your sort of thing.


Based upon the Unreal Engine and set in, you guessed it, an arctic setting, Arctic Combat is a team based shooter aimed at pretty much everyone. Arctic Combat is free to play and has recently begun its closed beta in Europe inviting people in to the frozen tundra to do battle as either the Red Star Alliance or the Allied Forces.



Naturally enough in such a team and clan based game the focus is on player versus player but there are pve elements available for play against challenging AI opponents. I can say that with complete certainty because well… it actually took me a minute to realize I wasn’t playing against players. Maybe that’s why I actually managed to pull off some of my more noob antics…


Either way while Leliah slaughtered her way through fantasy, I took aim in Webzens realistic setting. Want to call down an airstrike? Want to bring in UAV support? Want to modify your weapons and have your pick of a skill system that’ll be sure to spice things up? You want to head north then, find your way into snowy wastes and grab your favourite skin from the cash shop. Of course OnRPG has keys to get you there as well so don’t miss out.


No matter if you are fighting on a fantastic distant continent or merely in a near future frozen wasteland, WEBZEN were more than happy to guide us through and let us play in some very engaging and very enjoyable games.

Gamescom 2012: Dust 514 – Immortality has a Price

Gamescom 2012: Dust 514 – Immortality has a Price

 By Jonathan Doyle (Ardua), OnRPG Journalist



Not every massively multiplayer experience is limited to a PC. Consoles are playing a greater role in bringing people together in ways that typically would have been those limited to PC gamers.



Having brought us space to be conquered on the PC, CCP Games is branching into new territory. It is bringing a massive shooter experience to Playstation 3.



For those who do not know, this is DUST 514.



War Without End

The beauty of science fiction is that it can be used to explore a broad range of concepts. Morality, legality, the future, hope, fear. You can cover all of those in a spaceship and laser gun package and dissect them once a week to world acclaim.



The beauty of science fiction games is when they have a beautifully realized world, half of the work is done for you.



Worried about the amount of arenas available to you in your favourite shooter? The New Eden cluster has hundreds of stars and thousands of options.



Are you the type of person to demand a modicum of realism from your games? Being shot in the head by an advanced laser or futuristic shotgun is no longer an impediment to waging war seamlessly. The same rationale and technology behind the deep world of EVE Online has been applied to DUST 514 to not just explain the shooter but to give it meaning.



There is war amongst the stars, war without end and most importantly a war you can affect.



Two Methods, One World

Interested players already know that the worlds of DUST 514 and EVE Online are on in the same. Specifically while PC gamers spend their time warping around New Eden and laying waste to one another in losec space, Playstation 3 gamers will be fighting it out on the worlds dotted throughout those voids. There will be market links between the two allowing material to flow between players of either game. More importantly, as the wars wage and as players claw out territory, EVE players can support mercenaries on the ground with orbital bombardment.



Been turned into plasma and itching for payback? You can turn the tables and fire back at those spaceships hindering you and helping the opposing force.



My Experience

Admittedly, and sadly, my experiences with DUST 514 were limited. Not for any failing on the part of the game, there’s just so much to see and get done at Gamescom that both the time of interviewers and developers is limited. What I did play? Very engaging. Each instance is a 24vs24 battle that quickly turns brutal, or at least it did for me. There were reports of a clan of players so eager to get to grips with DUST 514 they kept lining back up to play together.



I fought tanks and fought with them. I had the pleasure of having my clone brains scattered around the landscape on more than one occasion and yearning to repay the favour. One thing that I rather enjoyed? In the lore of the game and in the actual gameplay, some vehicles are capable of spawning troops. That drop ship buzzing the complex? You better take it down quick or the guy you just sniped may well respawn on it even as it bobs and weaves through the air. Just to make your life worse, he’ll even be able to fire its guns if no one else is covering them.



I came away from the CCP booth a little disappointed honestly. Once again, not because of any failing on their part, but this time on mine. I don’t own a Playstation 3. I can’t jump into the mercenary war. Not right away anyway. I can’t get my hands on a Playstation Move and mount it on a rifle body (DUST 514 is move enabled and this is something that you could play with on the show floor) to mow down players. For now, I’ll have to content myself with EVE, with the knowledge that whenever I do get my hands on a Playstation that DUST 514 is free and waiting for me to jump into and finally with the work of one Tony Gonzales.



Templar One, like The Empyrean Age is CCPs reminder that their universe is out to suck you in. It’s on our PCs, it’s on our consoles and it’s in our books. The best part about a world like what they are offering?



You’re more than willing to be sucked in.

Otherland’s First Beta Begins Friday

The first beta weekend for Otherland begins on August 31, 2012






The weekend of August 31-September 2, 2012 should be marked in red on the calendar for all fans of the action MMORPG, Otherland. On these days a chosen few players will get the first chance to test the beta version of the game.



Florian Hörpel, Product Manager for Otherland.: “A small, manageable group of accounts will be given access to the servers for the first closed-beta weekend. This is because we want to get a feel for the limits of the systems.”



In the meantime, the development of Otherland is coming along in leaps and bounds. A short while ago an additional simulation, called Five Isle, was presented which is based on the five Chinese elements. Tad Williams, bestselling author of the Otherland novels, makes his first appearance in the video and talks about his vision of Otherland and the enormous freedom offered by the game.



Participants of the first beta weekend for Otherland will be informed via e-mail.

OnRPG Shotgun News 8/29: Ran Online, WoW, FireFall, and much more!

OnRPG Shotgun News 8/29: Ran Online, Otherland, FireFall, and much more!

By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist



Tribal Wars Summer Championship Is On


The qualifications round of Tribal Wars’ Summer Games Championship is over. 75 tribes are moving ahead into the final round. The competition picks up again on September 4th when players compete for ipads, phones and titles. It is expected to take nearly two months before the grand finale will be held.



Ran Online Reveals New PvP Optimized Assassin Class

Ran Online has revealed details of its new Assassin class which has been optimized for PvP play. They are able to hide and teleport as well as turn themselves into animals for faster movement. They also have a skill called Crowd Control which is specially designed for group PvP combat situations. The update featuring the new class is expected on September 27th.



WoW Has Pre Expansion Patch

World of Warcraft is getting ready to go full on Panda. A pre expansion patch has been released in preparation of Mists of Pandaria which releases September 25th. The patch includes updates to achievements, pets, and mounts, the introduction of AoE looting, BattleTag support, class changes, some currency conversion, and so much more! For more details check out the patch notes on the World of Warcraft website.



Free Realms to Show Off Sunstone Valley On


Free Realms Producer Harvey Burgess is getting together with designers Eric Hankins and Christ Fritchoff to show off a never before seen zone. The reveal will be broadcast live on this Thursday at 4 PDT. They will also be sharing a few more changes that have been made to Free Realms. Be sure to show up on time as the broadcast is only expected to last for 15 minutes.



Zynga Chief Creative Officer Leaves to Start His Own Company

Mike Verdu has announced that he is leaving Zynga to form his own as yet unnamed mobile game studio. This comes less than a month after Zynga’s then COO John Schappert left the studio. Verdu has stressed that his departure is an amicable one and that Zynga will be investing in the new company.



Firefall Reveals Special Deals for Founders

Firefall has revealed a specials Founders Package which will be made available for the first time at PAX. In addition over the PAX weekend, (that’s this weekend) there will be a discount on the Founders Packages. And if you buy your package at PAX you’ll get your very own Merch pet. After PAX the packages will be available for a short time at the standard price. For all the details please see the following video.




Gamescom 2012: World of Warplanes

Gamescom 2012: World of Warplanes

By Jonathan Doyle (Ardua), OnRPG Journalist



The booth in the Gamescom Business area is as brimming with interviewers as the booth is on the show floor, showing off what we’ve come to talk to them about.



It’s time to take to the skies and get airborne with World of Warplanes.



The Golden Age

I admit being a huge fan of the technology of World War II. The arms race of our world brought technological changes that can easily be felt the world over. I have heard about the battles in the air, the planes used and dreamed of. I have watched weathered old men recount the terror and glory of flying those glorious machines into danger time and time again.



Respect should and has been rightly heaped upon those who flew these missions across battlefields.



Obviously a video game can and in some cases does deal with moral questions, that isn’t why we’re here though. has captured the glory of flight. The exhilaration of the chase in three dimensions and the chaos and confusion that is a dogfight.



What they’re offering you and I is nothing less than the golden age of aviation. The whole gamut of planes from rickety looking 1930s Red Baron-esque biplanes to early Korean War jet fighters. Not content to merely pick from what did fly, we’re also getting what may have flown. What would have flown, had the projects seen the light of day or their turn on the construction lines.



There is love apparent in every plane I am shown, every modification and variant sitting in a hanger. World of Tanks players are almost certainly nodding and smiling, knowing what I am talking about, but at the time I admit I was unprepared to see just how faithfully and fantastically the planes have been recreated.



Getting in the Cockpit

Eager to get into the air? Eager to get to grips with the enemy team and bring them down one at a time? Well everything I saw says that that will be quick, easy and entirely fulfilling.



During the presentation the preset system was shown to me for pilots who are ready to go right now. Want to switch out your engines and weapons? Just a click away. Want to get a nice rounded package to fit in? Push of a button.



For others though, there will be every chance and option for them to drill down into the bones of the game and really experiment with different engines, wing configurations, weaponry and so on.



Everything comes with a cost of course, one that may not be immediately apparent to you sitting pretty in the sky. Oh, didn’t we mention that? No tedious takeoff and landing. No long slogs to get to grips with the other guy. You will start in the air and ready to go once you’ve picked all your gear.



The cost though, the cost is very very real. Every plane was not created equal; if they were wars would have been fought by heavily armored, super nimble, bristling with guns and packed with bombs superfighters. Thankfully not here. The dream planes may have made it in, but what they can do, or what any plane can do for that matter, is still grounded in reality.



Bombing Runs!

Specifically, if you want a nimble dogfighter? Leave the bomb payloads at home. If you want to cover those nimble souls darting into knife fighting range in the air? Well there’s always ground targets to consider and for that you’ll need bombs. Heavy bombs, leading to a slower sluggish bomber. These are the decisions that await you and the team. Want those anti-air towers gone? Someone will have to do a bombing run. It’s this little pve component that adds something more to the battles in the air.



Ground is such an important feature, after all we all need scenery to admire and to make use of, not just endless blue expanses. To that end the combat ceiling has been lowered from where it would have been historically to mix in the added spice of ground targets and a nice dash of strategy.



They Came Outta The Sun really are very very good at their jobs. So are their consultants and historians. It’s not all just fly at the other guy and spam you know. Originally, in earlier builds of the game, there was an ammo count to avoid precisely that behaviour. After extensive CB testing they switched to admittedly unrealistic bottomless magazines. Instead of a hard limit they went with a heat system. Spam the guns too much wasting your shots chasing a guy when you should be leading the target? The guns will overheat and you’ll need to let them cool off a touch before you can bring the weight of fire again.



It’s not just guns though, the environment adds as much to the strategy of the game as a pilot’s configuration does.



You’ve seen exactly the moments they’ve thought of and provided. Want a little edge on that unsuspecting USSR fighter? Climb high and come out of the sun. Glare will hide you. Some tough as nails and damnably irritating Japanese dog fighter on your tail? Take him into the clouds and lose him. Think you’re a hot shot and the other guy isn’t? Drop to the floor and see who can hug the ground better. Just watch out for those towers that your friends really should have been bombing before you decided to duck under a bridge (entirely do-able in game) to get the other guy to crash.



Get Airborne.

I could go on and on about how fun it was to watch the dogfights. I could spend ages waxing lyrical about the glory of the visuals or the tense feeling I got every time we dived right down to the ground. I wish I could show you just how close you can get to the other guy before you clip his wings and send him down in flames. To be honest though, the proof of this pudding is in the eating. There’s no other way to really get it across to you what it’s like. So I implore you, fire up the engine, clear the tower. We’re all needed in the air, and may the ballsiest win.

Fantasy Tales Online

Fantasy Tales is an MMORPG that’s playable right in your browser window. The quest based gameplay and simple mechanics further the retro feel of the game — it’s like an old 16 bit RPG, right down to the graphics! With a colorful world to discover, countless adventures await you. You don’t need an account to play; however, registering the game will let you save your progress for continued fun later!





16 bit fun: While not as graphically intense as a lot of modern games, Fantasy Tales Online retains a retro feel for players who grew up with consoles like the SNES and Genesis. The world is colorful, and the adventure is waiting to be found!


Four character classes: Choose to be a brute, an assassin, a medic, or an alchemist. Each class plays slightly different, and you’ll find something to enjoy any time!


Simple controls: Fantasy Tales Online doesn’t bog itself down with complex controls, preferring to keep things simple. Clicking NPCs and monsters interacts with them, and you also click where you want to go.

Multi-Platform: Fantasy Tales Online will be available for Windows, MAC, and Linux.

Core Exiles

Core Exiles is a browser based MMO that gives its players the freedom to explore and fight in space. After your exile from the Core, you set out on a journey to make a name for yourself across the stars. Fight, trade, or govern your way into the history books. Compete against other players in exciting mech-based combat. The game is constantly receiving new updates and contents, letting everyone experience something new.





Combat based missions: Fight against notorious space pirates, or become one yourself. Pillage ships for their bounty to sell or develop your own ship.


Settlement building: Players also have the option to develop a settlement, protecting your people and becoming a wealthy nation. Mine asteroids for resources and explore strange worlds to help develop your colony further.


Competitive action: Mechs are the name of the game here! Fight against player opponents in an arena, seeking glory, renown, and money.


Mix and match: Play however you like. Play as one, or combine all of the above for a truly unique experience.

Pockie Pirates

Experience the newest tactical browser from Game321. Pockie Pirates features some of your favorite pirates from the hit anime OnePiece. Choose your gender and one of four archetypes and set out to make a name for yourself in the pirating world as you recruit your crew from one of four infamous factions. With dozens of customization options, endless skills, equipment, treasure hunting, fishing, trading, story driven plot lines… well you get the idea! It’s time to find the One Piece and become king of the pirates!