I’m curious to know how you like the game, past the opening scenes. I don’t know if it was just me being flighty or not, but it seemed really hard for me to connect to the game (adorable hamster people with vicious attack squirrels notwithstanding – mine were Khuu, Bhuu, Rhuu, and Twidget).
Allods offers some interesting characters to choose from. There are two factions to choose from: League and Empire. Each side has 14 different classes you can choose from (which play off of 8 basic classes). The character creation was kinda fun, but not a whole lot in the way of customization. Plus, I noticed it was easy to change factions and/or classes during the process.
I didn't see much for descriptions of the races or classes during the character creation. I sort of missed that, especially after World of Warcraft improved their character creation information. And, honestly, I didn't want to poke around outside of the game to find out this information.
Building a character seemed to require out of game research as well. Characters have a lot of attributes that you can assign stat/skill points to upon leveling. I must admit, I've gotten pretty used to basic attributes like strength, stamina, intellect, etc. increasing X number of points per level attained. Instead, each time I leveled, I had to assign them where ever I pleased.
In the first closed beta, I pretty much guessed where to put those points. In the third closed beta, I noticed tooltips including “this would benefit your class” which made my decisions easier. I'm not sure if there is away to ever reassign them or if you are stuck with what you assigned. Again, I didn't want to do a lot of research outside of the game.
The graphics were quite gorgeous, especially for a free-to-play game, in my opinion. I definitely liked how it looked. I quickly noticed the absence of a mini-map and missed it immensely.
The controls for movement, camera, and attacks were pretty basic and easy to use. New spells automatically appeared on my action bar so I didn't have to dig for them. I tried out mainly ranged classes (big surprise, I know), but I didn't notice an auto-attack. Although this is the least favored melee attack, I usually expect to use it some at low levels.
Tami, like you, the game's story did not grab me. Granted, I didn't play very much outside the opening scenes. In total, I played less than 10 hours of this game. For a true blue review, less than 10 hours doesn't allow me to experience much. But what I can tell you is this: if a game doesn't capture my interest in less than 10 hours, I'm very unlikely to play beyond that.
I tried the League and Empire starting areas. I must say, I didn't really understand why the faction I was playing was being attacked by the opposing faction right away at level 1. Again, if I'd done more reading outside of the game, perhaps I woulda had a better grasp on the story concept. And the quests… well, pretty much felt like they were directing me to do things for my own survival, but not really… I dunno. They didn't connect me to the story, the world, or the plight of my faction.
In World of Warcraft and Aion, I felt the beginning quests gave me a better understanding of what I was walking into. They had me running around being an errand girl and a gun for hire, sure, but I felt I was slowly unlocking more understanding of the threats around me and why they were perceived as threats.
I also have no idea what the item mall will contain, so that always makes me a bit wary of continuing in a free-to-play game as well.
Back to the research outside the game bit… I have no problem with doing this and have done this for World of Warcraft. The difference I see here, is that I shouldn't have to do research before creating a character on how to build it from level 1. Besides the stats, Allods characters get a talent point for each level. I had a LOT of decisions to be making right away when I dinged level 2.
In WoW, for example, I can feel relatively comfortable assigning talent points where I want them in the earlier levels. I also know I can change them later if I want to build a better spec based on what I'll be doing with that character most of the time (solo leveling, group leveling, dungeons, raids, PvP, etc.). I know some people do like to research leveling specs before rolling a new alt, but it's possible to level without having an optimal leveling spec. Heck, it's possible to level in WoW without any talent points at all…
TL;DR version: While I spent less than 10 hours in Allods Online, I was not captivated enough to continue playing it.
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