Allods Remains Undaunted, Erodes Grind

By Jim Rossignol on October 14th, 2011 at 1:30 pm.

That's you, that is.
I found Allods to be interesting, but frankly a bit lacking where it counts, when I played it. The operators of the free MMO, Gala Networks, are trying to reduce some of those issues with their new expansion for the game, Undaunted, which as well as pouring in new content massively reduces the rate of grind required to get through the first 25 levels. It should, apparently, bring the rate of progress a little closer to the industry standards of WoW and so forth. Whether that will see people return to the game, I am not sure.

The trailer, below, isn’t particularly inspiring and is quite peculiarly edited. Hmm. Stuff like this makes me wonder whether we’re going to start seeing some serious casualties in the free-to-play space, with the better games starting to rise to the top…


Hmm!

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27 Comments »

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  1. CaspianRoach says:

    If the title didn’t read “Allods” I’d say this picture is taken from WoW.

    • johnpeat says:

      I’d say that means you’ve never played WoW

      The semi-cartoon style is similar but Allods overall art direction is actually quite different and rather good I thought.

      Shame the game chose to go “Pay to Win” really – at one point about 20 of my former WoW-mates were playing and it was fun – then they outlined the system whereby you’d have to pay money to compete and they all – every one – left.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Actually, I have, for about 2 years. I present you Exhibit A: pygmy model
      http://caspianroach.ru/content/aa-ugly-580.jpg
      And Exhibit B: WoW default UI
      http://caspianroach.ru/content/0blogwow2.jpg
      Even the texture work and geometry quality is about the same. As for gnome’s (or whatever that is) clothing I can refer you to the style of geist mobs in Icecrown and Putricide’s two creations in the Citadel.

      The striking difference, however, is in the font. Notice how you can’t read shit in Allods’ font when it’s minimized. WoW’s typefaces are better defined.

    • hench says:

      johnpeat: There has never been a good F2P game with cash shop business model and I doubt there will ever be. If a game (MMOs specifically) markets itself as a F2P it’s an instant turn-off for me.

      Has there been any news on what kind of cash shop the new Tribes will have?

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      dirtyword says:

      There’s something refreshingly classic about a cartoonish man smoking a cigarette. I can’t see Activision allowing that.

    • bigdeadbug says:

      They really aren’t that similar if you play them side by side. Allods is cartoony but with a leaning towards realism WoW tends to lean towards heavy exaggeration in its design. In most cases the differences are quite striking though I’ll admit the video doesn’t show that to well or in fact tell me anything about the expansion other than people seem to be very sleepy in it.

    • UnravThreads says:

      johnpeat; Look at the inventory in the article. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen many of those item pictures – if not all – in Warcraft (3 or WoW)

    • Koozer says:

      “johnpeat: There has never been a good F2P game with cash shop business model and I doubt there will ever be.”

      Ahem, League of Legends and World of Tanks disagree. Each to their own though.

    • johnpeat says:

      BIG issue with Allods, at launch, was a death penalty which got sillier and sillier (and applied to PvP as well as PvE)

      You could farm or buy the things you needed to remove that penalty – but the effort/money required to support a decent PvP campaign was not inconsiderable.

      I’ve no idea if they changed it because when all your buddies quit – that’s game over for the game…

    • Wulf says:

      At the risk of annoying every WoW player ever (like I don’t do that all the time, anyway), I’d actually have to say that it doesn’t look muddy and undefined enough to be WoW. The textures are far, far too sharp and clear. And the models, whilst low poly compared to modern games, still look less obviously low poly than WoW. WoW looked absolutely ancient and years behind the times when it first came out, and time hasn’t done it any favours.

      Here’s a WoW gnome. Compare it with the image in the article. Now, I do see that the art direction is straight from WoW and I’m not at all a fan of that more muted, washed out cartoony look. I prefer the Torchlight approach. But the overall quality provided by the Allods engine is obviously better.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      That’s funny because I always thought Torchlight was very WoW-like. Much more so than Diablo 3, for example.

  2. Jumwa says:

    Interesting. My friends and I quit enjoyed Allods, the art style especially, I still say the Arisen are stylistically the most interesting MMO race I’ve yet to play. Though honestly, this might be enough to get me to try again, I doubt it’d get me to stick around. I just have no patience for getting to the point in a MMO where I no longer look like a hobo, have some freedom to do what I want and aren’t as weak as a kitten.

    Not to mention integrating myself into a social circle, which is a vital part of any MMO experience. That takes more time than I think I’m willing to give to any game these days.

    • doktorjung says:

      Necro-mechanical catgirls. Try the rest animation!

    • Jumwa says:

      Catgirls, huh? I always thought of them as just rather Egyptian-mummy looking with cords hanging from their spines.

  3. greg_ritter says:

    Jim, have you tried Allods 1 and 2? They were great RPGs, and, honestly, some of the best russian games ever.

  4. cocoleche says:

    My problem with WoW was that everyone seemed to take it far too seriously. I could never share the fascination people have with gathering loot and hitting 85. Yeah it’s fun, but is it really everything you want to talk about in guild chat? I’m still looking for that MMO where people just want to chillax, mess around a little bit and look at purty graphics.

  5. ecat says:

    I still feel sad when I think about Allods, the only real MMO I’ve ever played. I started during one of the final betas and it was quite fun for a couple of months, but eventually even the political in-correctness started to lose appeal and I quit the game… Almost.

    One rainy Sunday, with nothing better to do, I made myself a gibberling Psionicist -stupid, over cute, fury, hamster like trio that I’d previously relegated to the draw marked cynical marketing. Sometimes it’s good to be wrong and I spent the best part of that day quite literally ‘playing’ in the first main zone. The feeling of speed that accompanies diminutive stature, the jumping, giggling and oh, some of those Psionicist powers looked fun.

    Over the months my little friends had so many adventures. I avoid PvP at all costs, making level 41 with only 5 kills iirc. I remained guildless until the mid 30s, joining an ad-hock party only when necessary, so some challenges required a good deal of cunning, but armed with the early Psionicist powers so, so much was possible. Happy days. Then a real guild and my own boat and then everything changed.

    The initial P2P model was not so bad, the increasing liniarity made to force the use of paid for consumables became less and less bearable but my little gibberlings were still able to find fun. The killer for me was when they nurfed my psi going from squidgy viable solo and good team support class to some horrible, just like every other class but not quite so good sham.

    Here’s to you Wute and the days we walked with head(s) held high(ish) as we revelled in our individuality, small and squidgy we may have been but quick and smart so often won the day. And here a pox on all those who preach the mindless boredom of balance and sameness.

  6. rustybroomhandle says:

    I did not play much of Allods, maybe 19 levels in on either faction, but enjoyed the parts that I did. The main draw for me was the chance to eventually own a ship and go exploring the astral. I have heard though that ship to ship PvP is quire a rare thing.

  7. Alphabet says:

    I have no idea if the game is any good, or about its weird payment model, but I did think that was quite a stylish video.

  8. Temple says:

    Always liked the mechanics of Allods (never got far enough to worry about grind) and planned to go back to it when my pc was better.
    Now I have City of Heroes and all is well.

  9. Wulf says:

    Wait, what? It’s kind of strange to use WoW as an example of an industry standard when it’s one of the more grindy games out there. If there’s anything I’d want to see them bring the game more in line with, then it’d be the likes of Guild Wars and Champions Online.

    I’m sure that there are other examples of MMORPGs which have a lack of grind, too, and not just those exclusively. But I just don’t feel that WoW is one of them.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Well, certainly, one can consider different MMOs, looking at which one does what best. On the other hand, WoW is quite popular and probably a standard for what an MMO is in the eyes of many people.

  10. Prosthetics says:

    Does Allods still have that BS where your items can become “cursed” if you die, as well as those stupid scrolls that double your damage, making the game incredibly hard unless you buy them?

    A few buddies and I played this game like 3 years ago, we LOVED it, and then they came out with the “patch” described above. Effectively nerfing all player characters by 50%, and the only way to return to the same damage output you had before was to buy scrolls. I was able to solo creatures my level before the patch, but after I was getting my ass kicked by one monster…