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Allods Online Impressions

by Joost "Myrthos" Mans, 2009-09-12

Allods Online is developed by Russian developer/publisher Astrum Nival and is the fourth game in the Allods series, better known internationally as Rage of Mages. The free to play game is scheduled to be launched this autumn in Europe in the English, French and German languages, with a North American version being released probably a bit later. Registration for the closed beta test has started already. Not surprisingly, the Russians are a bit ahead of the rest of the world as they are already in CBT at this very moment. Jamie McCormick from gPotato was kind enough to show me the game while I was at Gamescom.

 

Allods

Allods are islands that are all that is left over from the shattered planet Sarnut. These islands float in the Astral, a substance that is everywhere around the Allods. There is a variety of islands, just like there used to be a variety of continents on Sarnut, so as a player you get to visit Allods with different environments (snow, forests, grasslands, medieval cities etc.).

Allods Online has a total of 28 classes to choose from, divided over 6 races and two warring factions; the Empire and the League. The Empire is a totalitarian state ruled by a mage and consists of the war hungry Xadaganians, the reanimated robotic Arisen Zems and the Orcs. The League is far more democratic and consists of the righteous Kanian, the Elves and the Gibberlings. This last race comes always in three small furry creatures that work as one. To operate a bow, for example, one holds the bow, the second pulls back the arrow and the third does the aiming.
At the moment of this writing, not all classes have been announced. The ones that are known are the warrior, templar (a paladin), scout, healer and mage. You can try out a maximum of eight characters on a single account, but there are no limits to the amount of accounts you can create on the server, so you can try out all the possible combinations if you like.

If you are interested in reading more, there is a lot of information to be found at the Allods Online site .

 

A flying ship

Once you've created your character, you'll find yourself aboard a ship that floats through the Astral space. These ships look nothing like the spaceships we know from Star Wars - they are more like flying Spanish galleons. This part of the game acts as a tutorial where you will have to defend the ship from attacks and will get your first quests. After a while, you'll leave the ship and continue on one of the 16 available Allods to level your character up in order to get to the most interesting part of Allods Online: building and owning your own ship.
This will take you 2 to 3 weeks depending on the amount of people you can convince to help you in achieving your goal and it involves a lot of questing. Once the ship is finished you will need 6 persons as a bare minimum to operate it; there is no soloing when you have a ship. Things will be easier if you have a larger group of people assisting you but there can never be more than 20 persons on your ship. The teammates on the ship have to select a captain - this does not necessarily have to be you as the owner of the ship; anyone can take the role of captain on a ship, just as you can take any role as well. The captain gets a special visor that allows him (or her) to see the space around the ship and navigate the ship through the Astral. Then there is the helmsman who actually steers the ship and you'll need a few gunners to operate the canons and torpedoes. In case the ship is damaged, you'll also need someone who is in charge of the repairs.

Once you have your ship, you'll also decide whether you want to be a pirate or an explorer. But even if you choose to be an explorer there will be situations where you will have to fight another ship - after all the Astral is just a big PvP zone. If a battle starts, the two ships will first combat each other from a distance and then one of the ships will board the other ship resulting in PvP fights. The winner can take the loot of the other ship and destroy the engine of the ship. It is not possible for others to take your ship away from you. When you die, you don't lose your ship and your teammates can continue. They can also use your ship even when you are not logged in.
A damaged engine takes a few days to repair, depending on how many people are helping you in getting the ship operational again, so you best defend the engine as good as possible. Ships can not only be damaged during battles but also because of an Astral storm or one of the Astral Demons who love to rip your ship apart. It certainly is a dangerous place out there.

Check out the next video clip to see the ships in Astral space and some combat.

 

 

Mini-games

Besides the ability to travel between the Allods in a ship, there are about 1500 quests available from the start divided over the available Allods. These quests are said to be focusing on roleplay elements that develop the story explaining why the world has been shattered into the Allods - some of the quest are said to be also related to the politics on the Allods.

Next to questing there are lots of mini-games to play. One of them is Goblinoball, which is football with a Goblin. In an arena you can either be a spectator or be a Goblinoball player. To do that you have to join one of the two teams and wait until there are enough players for a match (6 per team). Once the teams are established, you enter the arena and get to kick a Goblin with a helmet. There is no level restriction on playing this game.
The other mini-games are part of the crafting system. For example, to brew a potion you will have to play a slot machine. Success of creating the potion is then based on a combination of luck and skills.

  

 

Wrapping it up

Unfortunately, time was short and the server was only occupied by us so a lot of things could not be shown to us. Therefore, it is hard to say anything about the actual gameplay elements as none were shown but it is clear that the developers of Allods Online have lots of ambitions with this game. If they manage to fulfill these ambitions -  especially the ship combat - then it will certainly have the potential to attract a lot of players.

Box Art

Information about

Allods Online

Developer: Nival

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: Unlimited
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
Europe & USA
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2010-03-29
· Publisher: gPotato Europe

More information