Tomorrow at 11am PST the second closed Beta test begins for Allods Online. Â If you do not have a key yet, and you want to try the game, it’s probably a good idea to grab one.Â However, there’s really no rush.Â Several websites have keys including us.
MMORPG.com – 3000+ Keys remaining
Massively – They should have some left.
Keen and Graev (us!) – If you need a key we have some to hand out.Â Just ask for one in the comments section and be sure to fill out your comment with a valid email address (Only I can see it, don’t worry). Update:Â Gone!
If you’re just joining the party, Allods is a free to play (F2P) mmorpg. I’ve written my initial impressions of the early-game and created a video with more impressions.Â Â “Sneak Previews” of the game are showcasing the new zone and monsters that we’ll get to experience with the level cap raising to 20.Â We’re quite behind the Russians though who have tested the game to the level cap.Â Plenty of videos, impressions, screenshots, and videos are available from their adventures and much of that information can be found in the K&G Commnity’s ‘Tidbits of Interesting Info‘ thread (or Wave!).
There are a few key points that I want to emphasize right now about the game.
It’s F2P.Â That means there is a microtransaction model in place via a Cash Shop.Â How intrusive will the cash shop be?Â Right now I can’t say with absolute certainty that it will be no big deal.Â In fact, it’s my biggest concern and will be the deciding factor whether or not I will even bother spending time playing.Â However, since the cash shop was visible during CBT#1 and the Russians have been playing the game for a while, we do have some idea of what to expect… assuming they stick with the same thing for NA release.Â It appears that you can not buy success in Allods like you can in a game like Runes of Magic.Â Allods takes a more cosmetic and convenience approach.Â You can buy costumes, potions (Alchemists in-game can make these too), bigger bag/bank space (available through quests in-game too), scrolls to teleport, and that sort of thing.Â You can also buy Chests.Â Chests drop off mobs as well.Â Inside these chests you’ll find a random item.Â So, in a way you can get a random item if you’re willing to gamble with real money.Â I found several chests while hunting so I see no reason to spend real money on a gamble.Â The only real advantage one can buy is gold.Â Â Will this be a problem and if so how big?Â I just don’t know yet.
There are Dungeons and Raids.Â We know this because the Russians tell us so.Â There are videos that you’ll find linked to in that tidbits thread as well as ones on Youtube if you search well.Â The content in Allods appears to be on par with a solid AAA title, and on par with Vanilla WoW.Â Again, this is what impresses me so much.Â We’re seeing titles release without low-mid level dungeons these days because developers have stopped caring about the journey as part of their game and only focused on creating this urgency to reach the end.Â There is also group content in Allods.Â I experienced a couple of quests during CBT#1 that required me to seek out a full group to kill an elite mob.
Allods Online is a PvP game too.Â I don’t really know to what extent the developers intended the game to revolve around PvP.Â I know, from reading an interview, that their original goal was to create a PvE game but they decided that PvP was important.Â I guess they decided that it was super important because there are several styles of PvP in the game.
Open World – It’s been spoken about many times as being a blending of Stranglethorn Vale and Hillsbrad on a PvP WoW server back in the old days.Â You’ll be questing in a zone together with the opposite faction and it’s inevitable that you’ll end up fighting each other.
DAOC/WAR style Objective Based -Players fight each other for special points in the Holy Land. I wish I knew more about this.
Arenas – Think STV’s Arena.
Goblin Ball – a mini-game type event.
Astral Ship Combat – Worthy of an entire article or two explaining it. Essentially you get enormous ships that you work towards in the end-game. They take 5 or 6 people working together to pilot them in the Astral area. You can play like a pirate and attack enemy ships or you can simply use your ship to explore for treasure. There’s a lot to it and I recommend the various articles.
Clearly we haven’t seen this amount of variation in an MMO’s PvP gameplay done well in a while.Â A couple of us are intent on leveling up and experience how some of the PvP works in the CBT#2.Â Â We want to figure out if the good ideas are executed properly, because in the end a good idea means nothing if you just don’t implement it correctly.Â I believe that the Holy Lands stuff starts a little bit after level 20; maybe they’ll open it up for us to try.
Like always, our community likes to play together in these things.Â You’re welcome to join us.Â We’ll be playing both sides to figure out what we like more (and for some avoiding the side we know we’ll play so that we don’t spoil it for launch).Â You can visit our board we just launched for Allods Online or hop on Ventrilo to get involved.