Allods Online veteran tells all … to us!
One of the most amazing things that could have happened tonight happened. An old friend (I know him as Healshot) came around on ventrilo and dropped a huge bombshell on us. Turns out he has been playing Allods Online in the Russian beta for eight months. Of course our community did what we always do when presented with a source of information: We tied him down and forced him to answer our questions! Alright, so he offered the info willingly but we still talked his ear off with question after question until we couldn’t think of anything else to ask.
As you’re aware by now if you’ve tried to search for info… it doesn’t really exist. We don’t have a lot of real information from players or even developers at this point to answer the hard questions or give us the real “this is how it is” stuff. We’re just now starting to get the previews with a marketing spin. This is why I value the following information so much.
The following are answers in fact-form for you guys to pour over. He expressed several times that all of this comes with a disclaimer that we do not know what will make it into the North American version. This is what the Russians have to play. He is hoping that gPotato doesn’t screw us all over and change it.
– Individual Astral Ships (6-man). Guild Astral Ships (36-man).
– Ships take two weeks to thirty days to make. Ships are completed by doing daily quests/world mystery quests to gather the parts. You complete the quests and the ship building NPC’s of the shipyard work on it for you. It’s a big investment of time and effort.
– “There are permission lists so people can’t jack your boat”.
– Astral ship combat is longer than normal combat. It takes time to hurt a ship enough to board it. This is a not a “wham bam” thing. These are fortified vessels.
– All Astral combat with other ships is in real time. Multiple ships can gang up on you. You can board a ship someone else damaged. It’s a cutthroat place.
– Your boat can be damaged and you need to go back to port to repair — takes time. Have to collect money and parts to repair it. Not like going to a vendor and hitting repair.
– Astral Plane is massive (as big as the game world itself — it’s the space surrounding it). Giant raid bosses attack you randomly as you sail around. You can find dungeons and raid dungeons. It’s open, but there are defined locations you’ll know about.
– Raid and “mini-raid” bosses attack you. Raid bosses are pseudo-instanced but the “mini-raid” bosses are bosses that anyone can sail right up to and fight together.
– Special Chests drop from these bosses that go onto your ship. You have to take these chests back to the port master to have them opened to see what epic loot you got.
– Port Battles take place in the astral plane over these raid boss dungeons. You dock your ship and go in to do the boss. The result is a lot of “port battles”.
– Astra Plane PvP is FFA. Yes, you can even pirate and attack your own faction. This is why the loot on your ship is at danger!
– Level 30 you get the quest to make your ship. It is set up so that it takes X days to complete.
– Mounts are coming. Obtainable through quests. More of a convenience thing.
– There is a city siege mechanic in the game to attack capital cities. “Somewhat like WAR”. The capital city itself won’t be sieged but some sort of instancing is used to make it so that the city isn’t inaccessible or lost to everyone, but attackable. When I asked about instances, he said “in a round about way”.
– “Epic Lore Raid bosses” are promised. Think “Lich King”. There is definitely a deep lore here that comes from Rage of Mages. READ YOUR QUESTS.
– “End-game” content (24-man raids) are in the game and more are being tested and developed.
– Level 23+ there is world pvp. Once you leave your quest hub you are vulnerable to attack and your flag turns on. Enter your quest hub and you’re safe. This is the only area you are safe in the 23+ zones. The story line begins to evolve and introduce the conflict between the sides. “Expect anything to happen while you level.”
– Control objectives and gain access to a dungeon. When you take over all the objectives your side gets the dungeon, thus taking it away from the other faction. The dungeon remains locked unless your side owns the objectives. It is instanced once you gain control. Think Darkness Falls, but not an open dungeon.
– Class balance lends itself to group/squad oriented play. Individual class balance isn’t a big thing. There isn’t one class to rule them all or one class that sucks. It’s about synergy. Some classes have minor problems but they are simple fixes. “They have done a superb job balancing classes.”
– Crafting is important. Good balance of crafted vs. drops. Equal if not better than drops. It’s good old fashion luck with crafting in this game though. It’s like vegas. You can spend the best mats on something but you’re never guaranteed to get exactly what you want — it’s not completely consistent. There are items to make crafting chances better, but it’s still random. Not the best system by any means. More of a mini-game — a bastardized form of the Free Realms crafting system.
– Cash shop truly is a convenience only thing. Nothing in the cash shop is game breaking, unbalanced, or unachievable in-game. No advantage can be gained from the cash shop.
There you have it! After I was done talking to him I had to pick my jaw up off the ground. It sounds like the Astral Ship PvP element is way more than I had originally thought. PvP sounds fantastic from his description of the open-world fighting. I also had great doubts about the PvE content in the game but he speaks so highly about it. He even told me that he feels like there is about 6 months of content at the “end-game” right now.
I’ll continue to pick his brain for info and bring it to you.