WoW Clone! HAHA!
Alright, I’m sorry, but I just had to get it out of my system. Factions, since WoW had popularized (not pioneered, mind you) the concept, has been a mythril standard in the MMO industry, so it’s no real surprise that a game such as Allods would incorporate a system. Hell, everybody’s doing it these days, and only a handful of polished and excellent MMOs, whether F2P or not, have gone against the current and succeeded. Allods has decently integrated that standard through open world PvP and battlegrounds, but not much else of note. The focus on warring factions is apparent from the get-go because the character creation itself already emphasizes that fact. The League, an alliance of Kanians who are fancily-named humans, Elves, and inquisitive Gibberlings, whose origin and inspiration you can probably tell right away, and their counterpart, the Empire, made up of Xadaganians who are, again, fancily-named humans, Orcs, and the Arisen, the undead race of Allods, are already in the midst of war at the start of the game.
Familiarity, at the time of Allods’ creation, was all the rage. The classes aren’t so unique as to make the innovation-junkies squirm with delight, but they are eight, easily recognizable archetypes that we normally see in RPGs, but at the same time, provide a specialty of their own. These are Warrior, Mage, Healer, Paladin, Bard, Scout, and the last three are somewhat different, but again, merely variations of what we are already used to and these are the Pscionist, mages who use psychic powers to slay their foes, Wardens, those who primarily focus on the power of nature like druids, and Summoners who are very similar in thought and skill to the common variety Warlock. There are a lot of classes to choose from that are tied to the race a player picks, and some vary in certain skill sets because of this. Combat, however, is no different to games like WoW, and you would get from Allods what you would actually expect from it; click and watch. Classes have their own mechanic or resource that differentiates them from others, but none too unique to merit any explanations of them, and none too unique to be entirely different from concepts we, as gamers, have seen before.
Regardless of the faction, a player ends up first in a tutorial area that introduces them to the current state of the Allods world, and each faction has their own unique and robust event that is nicely done in every sense of the phrase. However, shoddy writing and voice acting can throw one off, as plenty are abound in them. Sadly, once a player proceeds past this stage, there really isn’t any more of it to be had as it comes down to the bare-bones of what Allods actually is. Proceed to the next section!
This isn’t exactly a high point for Allods. Not at all. Questing in this game is nothing more than the standards you see in F2P games everywhere. Filled with mostly kill and fetch quests, the game leaves little to be desired in this aspect due to the repetitiveness being all too apparent from the beginning. While one might say that this can be said of all MMOs, Allods simply doesn’t seem to try at all in hiding the monotony of the game through any means or form. Some MMOs do this in the form of a compelling and engaging storyline, even with the smaller optional quests of gathering ridiculous amounts of Xberries, making it seem and feel important to do in some way. Others tend to forego story telling and just go for pure action or an incredible reward at the end, again, even for the smaller quests.
This becomes worse (or better, depending on the point of view) when the player is first taught auto-pathing. It’s not as bad as other F2P titles that are less on pathing and more on automatic quest completion, but Allods’ automated pathing simply takes out the sometimes frustrating search for a specific area of a quest. While it can be a convenience, it also has a drawback. Because of this convenience, there is little need to go off exploring on your own and all the traversing can be easily done with the simple click and off you go, alt-tabbing to your browser while you wait for your character to arrive at their destination. This, to me, makes the world far smaller than it actually is and makes a player care less about how wonderfully the world was crafted, and mayhaps even less than what they initially felt about it in the first place. Not only that, but whenever you gain experience from a quest, you gain the same amount of what are called Marks of Fate. These marks can be used to auto-complete a quest without actually doing it, rewarding the player in whatever it was set to give if they had done it normally. Again, it’s another of those eye-of-the-beholder scenarios that can be great asset to the game as well as a horrid decision on their part. I personally hate the idea of it as it removes itself from what it was created to be.
But, at least, there’s a lot of it going on. Allods can’t be accused of having a dearth of content in its present state because it hosts a lot of raids and world bosses, quests, dungeons, and the like to sate even the most content-hungry players. PvP is always an option and is almost always never dull and can definitely be a great way to disrupt the tedium of a player’s Allods PvE lifestyle. In fact, Allods rewards players who are flagged for PvP as they do PvE content though experience and extra items, and, believe me, you’ll need all the help you can get leveling up once you enter the 20+ range. The tediousness of performing menial tasks can get to players at times, but providing a mechanic that can abolish it completely is no solution as it only serves to remove the game in itself, making it less and less of a game and more of just a browser game. Especially more so due to how great looking the game is, which so happens to be our next topic.
Animations and Aesthetics
While there are probably other things that would pique the interest of the new player, the best and most noticeable part of Allods would be its inherent beauty. To start with, animations of player characters and NPCs, ranging from attacking, casting magic, resting, and all other sorts, are fantastically done. It isn’t some generic charge-then-cast, but one can really see the effort a character puts in a certain action. They are all very fluid and immersive to a degree that I sometimes find myself continuously killing things for no reason just because it looks so great. In all my time playing there were probably only a few instances where I found some awkward animations drawn from NPC reactions like cheering for the player if he or she levels up or finishes a quest, and there are none that I find too stiff to break my concentration on the game. The overall detail put into these animations are just staggering.
Aesthetically, I find Allods to be confused. It draws from many apparent inspirations from all kinds of media. Personally, I find it dangerously over the line of acceptable, as I’m sure that many players, like I, prefer logical methodology in fantasy rather than full-on outlandishness. Don’t get me wrong; the world of Allods looks fantastic and I should say that its beauty rivals that of other current-generation MMOs, but I’m really more focused on the idea of its aesthetic type, or what the world’s feel is trying to go for. From space pirate ships to industrial era/medieval themes, I believe it tries to replicate what the Final Fantasy series has done for a very long time, but sadly fails at it, resulting in a stew of odd and awkward visuals that are difficult to comprehend together.
No matter what race or faction a player chooses, characters are rendered beautifully that can still keep up in the industry today. Before WoW’s newest expansion, I daresay that Allods looked way better than WoW was. All gear visuals are brilliantly done and not at all your average, run-of-the-mill designs. But we all know a game can’t last on graphics alone.
Cash Shop! HAHA! …Wait, Subscription?
You’ve all probably heard the stories, and they are all very true. In order to survive in Allods, one really has to shell out some cash just to keep a character in peak condition. While most things can be obtained in-game, there are some cash shop items that are exclusive to the power of real money like some potions, mounts, and mount feed, all of which improve a player’s quality of life within Allods. Arguably, there aren’t any real gamebreaking items for sale at the cash shop, but there is always going to be the need to spend on something, considering that it’s going to be an absolute struggle if a player isn’t willing to spend on anything. Some even claim that end-game raiding guilds expect their members of being capable of spending for items that help them gear or, otherwise, the player gets booted out. Allods is a rather grindy game that would take a lot of time and dedication just to cap out at max level, and the idea that its difficulty can be alleviated by cash shop items is a game breaker for me.
“Anyone can play through Allods without spending a single cent!” one might say, but the fact of the matter is, a lot of the items give players advantages that would otherwise make them so squirmy from the difficulty and/or the grind that it will be hard to live without. The framework of the Allod’s gameplay seems hellbent on making it difficult for players that it gives them almost no choice but to buy items either through the cash shop itself or grind for ungodly amounts of in-game gold just to buy said items in the auction house that are posted by wealthier players. It isn’t just a matter of aesthetic value, but overall gameplay value, and it becomes much more indicative through the actions of other players. Like mentioned before, when guilds require or expect their players to be able to purchase something for an improved game, you know that something is definitely wrong.
However, it came as a surprise to know that Allods actually started offering subsciption services and maintains a subscription only server where the cash shop and all its needed elements to survive the original version are removed, and Allods then becomes like any normal MMO where a player has to work for something to obtain it. That by itself is one big reason to give the game a chance, but frankly, with the division of F2P players and subscribing players, there may not be much of a population to play with, so it in itself becomes a failure. There used to be two subscriber servers; one US and another EU. The US server has been merged with the EU.
Allods is nothing like WoW to be completely honest because it gives players a different experience, though some elements are noticeably familiar. It was said to have a lot of potential in the past and I believe it still does to this day, but torn asunder simply by bad decisions through the introduction of the Cash Shop back in 2010. It looks great and feels great, but the boring grind and dependency on the Cash Shop leaves little to be desired. If you don’t mind long and mindless grinds, and Cash Shops, Allods Online might be for you because it still has a lot to offer with its excellent visuals and plentiful content. But apart from that, I wouldn’t see myself playing this game.
We rate this game 6/10.Related: Allods Online, Fantasy, MMORPG, Review