Astral Ships: As amazing and unique as you can imagine!
Update: An hour after this was published Gpotato released news announcing that beta has been extended one week until the 10th. Time to play an alt and help friends I guess. If you’re interested in playing you can just make a gpotato account and play now since they do not require a beta key anymore.
Closed Beta ends in three hours and I think all of us playing can’t wait with hopes that Open Beta (considered launch) will follow shortly. It’s been a journey. In fact, it’s been a magnificent journey. I’ve been praising the game for some time now so I won’t slobber all over the details which you can find by browsing my Allods entries. However, there’s something special I want to share with you guys to conclude my closed beta testing entries.
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to test out Astral Ships! I’ve made a lot of friends in this beta and today a couple of them surprised me with an invitation to crew a brand new Astral ship. I met them in the hangar at Novograd where the ship was docked and the crew (my group members) were finalizing preparations for departure. Decisions had to be made about who was going to take the helm, who would use the visor, who would monitor the scanner, who would handle repairs, and who would defend the ship. In a few minutes jobs were handed out. I was tasked with repairs — a job that I’ve never done (not that I’ve done any) but one I was excited about. We departed from our hangar and warped rather quickly to the Astral.
Engines warmed up, which I could actually hear, and we began to move. I got chills. Someone was actually controlling this massive ship that I was on! I watched him turn the wheel and we began to move at an angle… in real time! There’s a bit of a learning curve. The crew member on the visor gave him instructions on where to go and it took about 15 minutes to learn to work together and navigate the Astral, but we eventually got a little bit of a handle on it. We saw allods in the distance and sailed by a couple of them. We were actually sailing and working together to move this massive ship.
We eventually sailed into an area and the astral turned red. We couldn’t tell if we ran aground on one of those astral thingies or if we had sailed into an area we shouldn’t have, but the ship started sending warnings. The shields started draining and the adrenaline kicked in. I ran to the basement, grabbed the goblin by the hair, and dragged him to the area that the ship indicated was damaged. How do I use this thing?! Warnings were going off everywhere and everything was breaking and I ran as fast as I could to the next station but it was too late and we were doomed. We blew up and were sent back to the hangar. Repairing the ship would cost 40g and 10 hours or we could do a quest and lower it to 3 hours.
The video I’ve attached highlights my journey into the Astral for the first time and I hope it captures the feelings that I tried to portray. This was really unlike anything I have done in a MMO before. I’ve never been able to set sail in a vessel with team members that each had to play their own role. I’ve never seen, in 3d, a world move around me as -I- am in control. I’ve never experienced being apart of a crew that has to defend its own ship and fire cannons at others controlling their own ships. It’s different than something like STO or even Darkfall where you can sail ships. The depth that this type of gameplay can add to exploration is immense. While Allods has done an extraordinary job, I can’t help but imagine the power this could have in future games.
Who would have thought that Allods Online, a free to play game, could accomplish what so many have wanted for years? Regardless of how the game ends up with its cash shop or whatever may happen, these accomplishments can not be diminished. We were all a bunch of noobs and had no clue what we were doing, but the epic feeling of crewing a ship with 6 people — real people working together — was unmistakably unique and just as amazing as you could ever imagine. Getting them at launch and sailing with a guild crew, perhaps even in an armada, is my dream right now.
Watch the Video!