Allods Online, a ‘free to play’ game I really liked and played for a while, has recently and dramatically improved the degree to which it is free. Most MMO gamers know that ‘free to play’ is just a marketing line. What it means is “no subscription required to play”, but the game company rightfully needs to make an income, so instead it’s from stuff you choose to buy. Allods had a debacle where realistically you had no choice, because there was a death penalty which could only be circumvented with items from the cash shop, which were expensive in real dollar. They’ve just recently worked out that was retarded, and have now made those mandatory items available from a daily quest.
So it’s a great time to try Allods again. It’s an incredibly polished and finished game, not just for F2P games, but in general for MMOs. Naturally it can’t be compared fairly to WoW’s degree of polish, content and subscribers. It’s a different genre, for a start, with some of its own mechanics, great class and race combinations that are really fun in their own right.
The Allods team emailed all past subscribers with advertising saying “we’re more free to play than ever”.
I was cynical, so went and asked in their forums wtf these daily quest rewards really meant. I’ve pasted below the key answers, but you can read a few other people’s opinions at the original thread. I asked:
I was quite an advocate of this game on my blog (pwnwear.com) before the original fear of death mechanic and cash shop debacle. I’m interested in publicising it again, however I don’t understand the significance of the recent change.
What gPotato might not realise is that players like me from February can’t remember what these charms and incense actually do!
Could someone please, in plain English and accurately, explain what the scroll of knowledge, charms and incense are used for, and why they’re necessary to fully enjoy the game. Also comment on whether the quantity provided in daily quests is ‘enough’ for a player doing say one or two hours gaming a day.
to gPotato: your advertising should also explain these benefits in real terms, not game terms.
And got a very straight answer from a community member:
Incense: Increasing your Damage by 50,100,150,200 and 250% depends on level. Also increased your healing ammounts my those same percentages.
Charms: You have a 10% upon death to have a single item of yours cursed that’s equiped, meaning a sword that gives +20 strength will give -20 strength upon cursing. A charm is expired each time a death occurs.
Scroll of knowledge: Increased your experience and fatigue XP gained from killing monsters by 100% (Doubling it, or in cases with fatigue, quadrupling it of the ammount it says you gain upon killing an enemy. You ALWAYS get 2x what it says, the other ammount from fatigue experience, the blue bar)
Incense is needed to play pretty much, and charms are just added comfort, but for their extremely low price, its a no brainer to get charms.
Scrolls of knowledge,not so much neeed
The reward from the quests is much more than you need… you will use probably maximum one scroll a month, because grinding isn’t too much of an issue until 30-36. The 5charms quest can be completed instantly, but the charms expire in 24 hours so you need to do every day. Typically you barely even die once a day unless you PvP
And the blessing from the incense lasts 24 hours.
The quest takes about 20-30 mintes to complete, depending if you’re on the league side or empire side.
I thanked them and then asked for some clarification.
I have had a few people tell me they think the game’s now Pay to Win, with runes particularly, but I expect that kind of statement is not binary. I bet there are many sides and dimensions to runes: such as PvP where it’d help a lot, but I suspect it’s not mandatory for PvE, just a boon.
I just want to say on my site that it’s a bloody great game, I really loved it, andsome of the key mechanics which forced you to pay have been negated.
And got this reply:
The runes can give a nice advantage in PvP, but you have to pay A LOT to get that advantage considering the runes cost increases are exponential.
The players complaining that it is P2W are mostly the same players complaining it was P2P, they are just looking for something to complain about. While I do agree with some of their points, they are going about it in an entirely wrong way.
Besides, those players paying a crapload for the high level runes are the ones making it so the rest of us play for free, so I see it has a necessary evil.
Later that day on Twitter, I had a chat with DasFeltMelt, who was still quite negative about it. He felt it was a play-to-win model, because of something called Runes. Check that twitter discussion for more on his critical views. They’re the serious power-up item from the cash shop. I found a few different opinions on how mandatory they were, but majority seemed to be saying ~80% of the game can be fully enjoyed and played without Runes. Hear those kinds of voices here.
So, if you’ve not tried Allods, it’s worth a go. I liked it, and you can play without paying for ages.
Be aware, the installer can stall for a long time as it looks for peers. Leave it over night, even if it looks stuffed, and you’ll find it’s updated itself by the morning.