Allods is a free-to-play MMO game at gPotato. Developed by a Russian company, it has a number of flaws that make it more of a chore to play it rather than a joy. While the graphics are excellent and there are other interesting features in the game, it is too much work to play the game to make it worthwhile.
Creating a Character
The Character Creation page has a lot of options to create your character from any of the many races of both League or Imperial forces. The first screen has you clicking on the artwork, which is actually a menu to allow you to choose your “Faction”.
There seem to be a lot of choices in faces and hair color and styles, but most of the choices show little imagination. I created a Warden because I wanted a pet. The choices for her face were uninspired and lacked any real emotion. Jade Dynasty faces are fewer, but show a real difference in their styles.
Names Are Impossible to Pronounce
Allods was written by a Russian team, so I’m sure the names make perfect sense to them. But for we English speakers, the names of the factions and races and other items in the game are confusing and impossible to pronounce.
As you start out the world begins to crumble around you and you do a few quests before getting to the town where things calm down. Part way though this series, there is a quest that has you finding the “elixer if immortality”. The Elixer is in a chest, but unless you know that you are searching all over the room. That’s ok, but if at this time, you need to do something else and decide to Exit the program, you lose all of your accumulated experience and start again from the beginning. That’s fairly annoying and I’ve never had that happen with an MMO before.
There are a number of issues that I tripped across right away that I found confusing or annoying.
- There is no way to orbit the camera around your character to see your own face. All the MMOs that I’ve seen before have some way to orbit the camera to see your own character from all sides. The most common way to do this is to use R-Mouse-Hold and move the mouse to orbit the camera. Allods orbits the camera with R-Mouse-Hold, but the character is not static while you do this. The character moves around to face in the direction of the camera, so you can never see your own face. Very annoying. How are you going to get screen shots – which I do all the time in games – with the characters face, and new weapons and armor when you cannot orbit the character. The only way to take such a photo is to go back to the log-in screen, where oddly enough, the mouse works correctly to allow you to orbit the character.
- There is no Auto-Attack. Almost all the MMOs that I’ve played have auto-target [usually tab] and attack [sometimes space or click] and the character continues to attack once the target is selected. Guild Wars does not have auto attack since all attacks are skills. Allods skills have long cool-down times so it becomes very tedious to select and attack items.
- Also this lack of auto-attack is the old-school since many new MMOs actually perform auto grinding. Ether Saga has an object that is a Bot that drives the character. This bot must be purchased, or obtained with a quest since it “wears out” after a time of use, usually 1, or 7 days. Jade Dynasty has an Esper device which is sort of a pet that never wears out although it requires energy crystals, which are obtained from an NPC when they wear out. The Esper drives your skills, heals you, recovers you mana, all from pots that you obtain from quests, collect as loot or purchase from NPCs.
- The quest text is horrendously long. Getting each quest is like reading a five page tome. MMOs are supposed to be about action and motion and interaction with an environment. Don’t make me read a long confusing page of text before I can get on with my life. Boooooorrrrrrrrrrinnnnnnggggggg…
My first impression is that the Russians didn’t play very many games before they wrote one. So far I don’t see new ideas here and the tried and true design elements that make a game engaging and draw you in are not followed.
Skills, Talents and Stats
The skills are called Talents, for no good reason. We all know about skills and calling them talents adds nothing but confusion.
There are way too many “stats”, which are called stats at least and not something else.
Some games make it a chore to update your stats, and some games just make you assign your skill points. Here you apparently have to do both and there is a too-long list of stats to worry about. It seems that they didn’t really have a good design when the stats points start out at 22 or higher in the game when you start out. With only one stat point per level, it’s going to take a long time to make any substantive changes and of course they take the path of only allowing you to increase your stats points. Guild Wars is unique in allowing you to adjust your stat points up and down to hone your build to the mission and skills that you want to use in the upcoming quest.
Pets are a Little Strange
Pets are a little strange, at least at first glance. The pets help fight, but to restore their energy, they are sent into the astral plane by using a Dismiss command. It’s not clear at first that to get the pet back, you just use a pet attack skill. Odd. that’s about all I know about pets at this point in my career.
No Mini-Map to Find Your Way
All the MMOs that I’ve used had a Mini-map in the upper right corner. This map is essential to finding your way to the next quest or NPC. But Allods has no mini-map, only a compass, so if you don’t know which way to your destination, then you need to open the full map and remember a direction. How lame is that?
Picking up Loot is a Chore
Just the act of picking up loot is a chore in Allods. It’s a two step process.
- After killing the monster a loot icon appears on the ground, then you click on the loot icon.
- Then you click on the menu that appears to pick up the loot that you found in the list. There might be more than one item. Or you click on a button to pick up all the loot items.
What a pain!!
All other MMOs that I’ve played have a one step process. Hit Space, or another key, or click on the item with the mouse and it goes in your bag. End of story. If there is more then one item dropped, then there is more then one item laying on the ground. Click on each one. Each one shows what it is, so if you don’t want it, then don’t click on it.
Esper in Jade Dynasty, and the Processor in Ether Saga have settings to collect items based on their name or type as they automatically run. If you have a game that requires grinding, then an auto-grinder sure is nice.
Allods looks nice and combining SciFi and Medieval concepts is an exciting possiblity, but this game is too much like a chore rather than fun.