If you are a World of Warcraft player looking for an option that offers the same look and feel but without the monthly charges or if you are seeking an Free to Play MMORPG that offers absolutely incredible graphics, plenty of character options, and a great storyline, then Allods Online is the game for you. Free to play and created by GPotato, the game has taken a lot of criticism for looking too much like a WoW clone, but those who play the game know that it has a slew of unique features that separate it from WoW and has a lot of depth to offer even the harshest of critics.
If you have ever played WoW, then the character selection in Allods Online will be quite familiar. There are two factions to choose from- the League and the Empire. You will then find that there are three races per faction. League players can choose Elves, Gibberlings, and Kanians, while Empire players can opt for Orcs, Arisen, and Xadaganians.
Once you have selected your race your next choice will be to choose from one of the eight character classes. Classes in the game include Warriors, Paladins, Mages, Healers, Scouts, Wardens, Psionicists, and Summoners. Each race/class combo then creates a certain archetype (such as an avenger, shaman, or defiler), and only certain combinations are allowable.
Now that you have created your character, you will be taken to the game’s starting area. Which will serve as somewhat of a tutorial that will help you learn the game and is instanced, so you don’t have to worry about higher level toons coming in to make things difficult for you. Each faction has its own starting area and backstory that leads into gameplay.
It is hard to talk about Allods Online without drawing comparisons to World of Warcraft, and this is especially evident in gameplay. While the game may be, surprisingly, more visually stunning than WoW, everything else feels like it was taken straight from the game. The upside, however, is that it feels like they have taken each element and added something to make it better. For instance, when you die in Allods Online, rather than spending ages running back to your body, you are resurrected at the nearest respawn point.
The game also offers similarities in XP, with a fatigue option taking the place of WoW’s rested XP. Where WoW doubled the amount of XP received for players who spent time doing things in the outside world instead of gaming constantly, players in Allods Online can trade in fatigue to an innkeeper for more XP. When they have played for a certain amount of time, this option goes away, meaning that quests will only grant half of the maximum amount of XP.
Professions are also much the same in Allods Online, with Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring all available for characters to persue. What makes this feature unique is that in Allods Online, crafting is done via a minigame that includes elements of both luck and strategy. This certainly makes leveling a skill less tedious and a lot more fun.
For all of the similarities between Allods Online and WoW, there are plenty of differences as well, and they are worth noting. Leveling a character can take longer in Allods Online, but the sheer number and variety of quests keeps it exciting and fresh. There’s no need to grind mobs to get that last bit of XP, as there are almost always quests everywhere to help you earn more. When you do get enough XP to ding, you will find that instead of diverting your point into a talent tree, you can enhance specific attributes on your character. This means that there is no cookie cutter mold for each archetype or class, making the game even more versatile.
Guilds Make the Game more Fun
One thing that players enjoy about Allods Online (and WoW, of course) is the ability to join a guild. Guilds offer players the ability to interact with one another, pool resources, and get together for raids and instances. Depending on how serious the players are about gaming, a guild can be designed for social purposes or to better reach end game content. There are different ranks for guild members, ensuring that higher ranking players have the ability to add or delete members and to set messages for the guild.
Top Notch PvP
While PvE, or Player versus Everyone gameplay is incredibly rich and has a great storyline, for some players the goal is to fight against one another. Allods Online has an excellent PvP or Player versus Player system. There are PvP areas on the map, arenas and airship PvP battles, and the ability to flag yourself for PvP combat so that you can engage with those around you. With the establishment of two separate factions, the developers had PvP on the brain from day one, and it shows.
The Bottom Line
With Allods Online, it is impossible to really describe the game without comparing it to World of Warcraft. Surprisingly, however, this actually works in the game’s favor. Many games have tried to operate in the same vein, only to have players walk away feeling as though they had been ripped off. Allods Online is different in this respect, and it pays off well. Using it’s forefather, World of Warcraft, as a jumping off point or foundation, and then taking things to the next level where it was needed.
Essentially, it is as if the developers took all of the things that worked with WoW and made them better, and added their own special twist. Many of the common issues that plague WoW players are nonexistent in Allods Online. While the overall theme seems quite familiar, the game definitely stands on its own and does so surprisingly well. The gameplay experience is similar enough to be familiar, but different enough to feel new and enjoyable. The graphics are better than expected, and in some cases, better than WoW, and the overall bottom line is that this game is worthy not only as a free to play game, but as a real contender for the MMORPG giant’s playerbase.