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One Of The Biggest MMOs You Never Heard Of
One of the first free-to-play, triple-A, flight-based MMORPGs to come along since gPotato's Fly For Fun is Astrum Nival’s Allods Online. Despite the release for this game drawing ever so near it’s amazing that more previews and interviews haven’t surfaced for this game. No worries, though, everything you need to know about the upcoming epic-sized massive multiplayer online title will be discussed right here.
The game has already been undergoing testing for server stress, combat and the like. Just recently the company announced that registration for the closed-beta was underway and that the open-beta is shaping up to take place soon enough. But before talking about registration, sign-ups and clients, let’s talk a little bit about what this game is about and why it might be worth your time.
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And Here's How The Allods Came About...
The story is a rather intriguing one as it involves a universe that’s constantly evolving through a shapeless, formless energy called the Astral. Given that there are creative and destructive natures within the astral that form and destroy isles, planets and habitable lumps of land, the inhabitants within the universe called the shattered gaps of mass, allods. Only the mages were able to manipulate travel from one allod to another and ultimately dictated power and control over the inhabitants. That is, until one day it was discovered that anyone could travel through the astral fields unharmed using astral transportation devices.
Within the universe of Allods, the inhabitants living on the main land of Sarnaut began developing and manufacturing astral flying ships that embody and embrace the Astral energy, and can use it to travel around to the undiscovered allods. Of course, like all forms of freedom comes the tyrannical urge to control said freedom. Hence, Sarnaut and every other planet within the universe were cast into war over the control of the allods, and it centers around the two main factions called The League and The Empire.
This is where the player comes into the picture, as adventurers trying to uncover the mysteries of the Astral while discovering new allods and fending themselves off from the on-going war. Sounds interesting, eh?
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A League Of Classes
Well, if the story isn’t entirely appealing to you or you just don’t care about why you get to do what you want to do, maybe the 28 different character classes, the eight character archetypes and four races will appeal to you. The game sports such a large variety of character customization, as players can choose a race and a class that ranges from a Gibberling brawler, a Kanian Templar, or a Xadaganian Commissar, to an Orc Brute an Elven mage or a Arisen psionicist. What’s more is that these characters and classes aren’t just varied according to race and archetype but also according to the game’s two main factions, The League and The Empire. Both factions have their own look and feel to the characters associated with them and it adds even more depth to the diversity of creating a character.
Each class and archetype also comes with their own skills. The skills on the game will vary according to the character’s class, race and archetype. This means that just about every player who chooses a various way to look will also receive a bonus skill simply for being different than a set of other players. This feature also helps encourage players to experiment with making new characters and getting creative.
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Building An Astral Ship From Scratch
Of course, the real highlight of the game is not with the very diverse character class system for a free-to-play MMORPG but it comes in the form of the very neat Astral ships. To move about and between the allods players will need to acquire an Astral ship of their own, complete with a crew, in order to venture about the vast universe in the game.
Players will start building their ship after level 35 and will be able to venture out after finding a crew to man it. The neat part is that the entire crew is mostly composed of other players, so adventuring throughout the world becomes a more community-oriented affair rather than a lot of players taking the solo route for discovering treasures and items. One of the major roles assigned to players on the Astral ships is that of a Navigator; the Navigator can see the entire surrounding area of the ship and can plot the course for either engaging an enemy, strategically getting into position for battle or finding a nice escape route to avoid danger.
In addition to the Navigator other players will take on the role of ship-hands to man the turrets or spot out the best course for maneuvering the ship. However, the Astral ships aren’t simply limited to players navigating and shooting cannons, it’s also possible to engage in ship-to-ship battles or use long-ranged magic and abilities to attack opponents. The team worked hard in ensuring that players could still use some of their abilities while stationed on the Astral ship to fend off monsters or fight against other players on opposing ships.
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The Weight Of Loot
The flying Astral ships aren’t just for war and exploration, however, they also serve one other very imperative purpose for a player’s travel: storing loot. As players make their excursion through the Astral they’ll undoubtedly gather lots of treasure, gold, loot and equipment. When the items become too much to carry on a player-character the booty can be stored on the Astral ship until it’s time to part ways from the allod. One other thing to keep in mind is that the size and quality of the ship will also determine how much loot can be stored on it…meaning that players will need to make several trips around the Astral planes to recover treasure if they’re using an inadequately small ship. But the gathered items from the allods can always be put to good use, such as buying more storage space for the Astral ship.
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Mini-Games And Goblinoball
The game not only has standard-fare play and the whole Astral ship function, but it also has additional gameplay contained within mini-games. One of the recently revealed game modes include “Goblinoball”, in which players venture to Competition Island, an allod all about nurturing the competitive side of adventurers, and engaging in some six-on-six soccer using a goblin. There are even special character themes and settings used in the arena to help bring out the spirit of sportsmanship, including sports-themed head paint and clothing logos.
Nevertheless, for those of you who fear you might get bored easily of a game where you grind, loot for treasure and discover vast new worlds to explore, rest assured that there is still plenty to do in Allods Online. With over 1,500 quests to take on, a sprawling universe of allods to explore and plenty of warring factions to keep the action spicy and lively, it’s tough to ignore Allods Online as a potential breakout hit of the year in the free-to-play arena. The open-beta is planned for the end of the year.
Gamers interested in registering for the closed-beta can do so by visiting the Official Allods Online Website.
A collection of reviews and previews of Allods Online.