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Allods Online

Choose My Adventure: The loser's circle

Polls, Aion, Contests, Culture, Opinion, Champions Online, DC Universe Online, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Defiance, Neverwinter, Age of Wushu

Loser definition
None of the games you are about to read about is a bad game. Don't let the title of the article fool you; these are all great games, but so far none of them has won a poll during a Choose My Adventure run. What is Choose My Adventure? Well, you wonderful readers will pick the MMORPG for me. and over the next several weeks you will also vote on what I will do in the game, which faction I will pick, which class I will have to roll, and so on. It all depends on the game -- and you.

So you and I have some work to do. It will be a long road but hopefully a scenic one. With your help, I will be able to keep up the tradition of putting a Massively writer through six weeks of joy, frustration, pain, and loot. A lot of loot.The list of losers is potentially long, but I decided to keep it relatively short and sweet. If you see your favorite game on the list, go tell the game's community. Get out the vote! Or have some fun torturing me! I normally go with indie or games that do not normally get much coverage, but these losers just begged me for a chance at winning CMA.

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Allods Online Q&A covers new subscription server

Fantasy, Business Models, Previews, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Subscription

Allods Online Q&A covers new subscription server
Bucking the trend of going from subscription to free-to-play, Allods Online is doing the reverse when it comes out with its new subscription server later this year. There's a lot of questions swirling about this alternative way to pay and play the game, and so gPotato has put out a handy Q&A to cover the subject.

Apart from paying a standard (yet "to be determined") fee to play on this server, the subscription server's main difference will be the absence of an item shop and currency exchange. Everything on this server will be either quested, crafted, looted, or purchased with in-game currency. Players also won't be able to transfer a character (and its goods) from a F2P server to the subscription one.

The studio hopes to have the new server out around the time of the next expansion. It has committed to a subscription server for Europe, although it may nix the North American one due to lackluster interest from the community.

The Perfect Ten: Literal kill 10 rats quests

Asheron's Call, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Humor, Runes of Magic, RIFT, Allods Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

The Perfect Ten Literal kill 10 rats quests
Webster's Dictionary describes "kill 10 rats" as "something nerds do, now shut up and read a few intelligent words." I think the editors are getting a little lazy there at Webster's, but that's nothing compared to the OED crowd that routinely slips in paragraphs of cut-and-pasted Hunger Games fan fiction just to pad the volumes.

Anyway, we all know that "kill 10 rats" is a derogatory term for those quests that make you slaughter a certain number of things to make life happier for the quest giver. Why that quest giver has a very specific number in mind has always fascinated me, but never mind. It stems from a long-standing RPG tradition by which lowbie characters typically start their career by doing a little rodent culling in the basement of a tavern. That's how all great people got their start, Abraham Lincoln included.

With "kill 10 rats" already being a trope, developers have this habit of trying to be coy and meta by actually putting quests in their MMOs where you, yup, kill 10 rats. I get the feeling that they think they're doing something clever and cheeky, even though practically all of their competitors have done the same. So here we go: ten literal "kill 10 rats" quests that you can find in your games today.

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Subscription server bound for Allods Online

Fantasy, Business Models, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Subscription

This may be lost in the shuffle.
A lot of games have gone from subscription to free-to-play, but that's generally been a one-way street. Allods Online is walking in the other direction. After the game opened a subscription server in Russia a while back, the most recent roadmap for the game reveals that a subscription server is due for release over here after the game's next expansion. That presumably means a lot of the perks from the cash shop will be simply available in-game for a flat monthly rate.

The letter doesn't mention an exact timeframe or what players can expect from the subscription server, but it's quite clear that the development team has heard the demand and is moving forward on the project. There's also talk of hosting a convention for the game's community in the real world, which would be a first for the title. Allods Online fans should stay alert for more news on both the next expansion and the new server type in the coming months.

[Thanks to Mikey for the tip!]

Allods Online celebrates Needle Eye Day

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Crafting

Allods Online celebrates Needle Eye Day
"Raise those fabric scissors in the air like you just don't care," the Allods Online team soberly commands. This comes as the call goes out for tailors to celebrate Needle Eye Day (well, more like 10 days, but who's counting?).

Needle Eye Day is a special in-game holiday for folks who have specialized in tailoring. Tailors participating in the event can earn several new items, including a peaked cap, festive suit, and a tailor's bag.

The festival will take place from July 18th to July 27th. Just as a reminder, please do not run with those fabric scissors like you just don't care, because it's dangerous. Massively loves you too much to see you succumb to scissor wounds.

Jukebox Heroes: Expansion themes

Age of Conan, EverQuest II, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Allods Online, Miscellaneous, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Expansion themes
Main themes seem to be a strong favorite among video game music fans (and even the casual set), but I've talked about them a few times already. So instead of puttering around with main MMO themes, why not give expansions some of the credit?

Not every expansion gets its own theme tune, of course, but plenty do. We've covered a few of them in this column so far, including Riders of Rohan and EVE Online: Apocrypha. What we haven't done is spend an entire week looking at these upstart themes and see how they compare to the originals.

So strap on your headphones and prepare for symphonic excellence. Here are six great MMO expansion themes that deserve a few minutes of your time!

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Allods Online updates guild vs guild rules of engagement

Fantasy, Galleries, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Dungeons, Player-Generated Content

Allods Online updates guild vs guild rules of engagement
Starting today, warriors in Allods Online's guild versus guild territory battles will have new mechanics at their disposal. These new battle mechanics include the ability to set a battle time to improve the organization and coordination of military campaigns as well as a new tournament-based league for sectors. Additionally, a new matchmaking system aims to keep things balanced and fair by using an improved battle points calculation that allows guilds to challenge others with similar power and skill levels.

On top of those changes, players with their own allod can now create a dungeon to hide their treasures in a customizable maze that plunderers will have to successfully navigate.

Need another reason to log in and check things out? How about this: Allods Online is offering a special event called A Gift a Day. Starting today, each day a player logs in, s/he will receive a gift. Prizes can include exclusive new costumes and a brand-new wolf mount. If you need any more coaxing, check out new images in the gallery below and the update's trailer after the cut.

[Source: Webzen press release]

Gallery: Allods Online

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Second Wind Roundtable: Allods Online

Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Second Wind

Second Wind Roundtable Allods Online
Hello again, kind gentlefolk, and welcome to the latest installment of the Second Wind Roundtable. This time around, I coerced, extorted, and otherwise blackmailed the wonderful Bree and Eliot (and Lis, though she was unfortunately unable to join us for the Roundtable chat itself, but she was there too!) to join me in a few rousing sessions of gPotato's aether-sailing free-to-play title, Allods Online.

We laughed, we cried, we nearly died from rage-induced aneurysms. But despite all that, we all survived to tell the tale. So buckle your swashes, raise your sails, and join us past the cut, won't you?

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Allods Online introduces new dungeon-building tool

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Dungeons, Player-Generated Content

Allods Online introduces new dungeonbuilding tool
Player-created content is coming to Allods Online in the form of a dungeon-building feature that will allow players to generate their own private islands called allods.

Launching June 5th of this year, the Path to Victory expansion opens up new private islands that act as customizable labyrinths for other players to explore. In addition to this dungeon-building tool, Gala Networks is also introducing the Weaponsmith tradeskill and several graphical updates with this patch.

Be sure to watch the Path to Victory trailer just after the jump.

[Source: Gala Networks press release]

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Allods Online pops the cork on its second anniversary

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Allods Online, Anniversaries

Allods Online pops the cork on its second anniversary
Considering how long Allods Online was launched-but-not-officially-launched, we think it's slightly inaccurate to acknowledge gPotato's claim that this is the title's second anniversary. Still, any excuse for a party, right? Starting today, Allods Online is featuring plenty of events, giveaways, and store sales to mark the occasion.

Active players have another shot at taming a free grey wolf or earning a "Noble Hero" costume set during the anniversary. There's also a few special NPCs who will be accepting anniversary coins in exchange for an array of special goodies. If you're of a mind to spend some money, all of the item shops wares are available for 20% off through the 13th.

GPotato is also giving veteran players 250 premium crystals and an anniversary gift package for those who have been in the game prior to today. The anniversary event goes from now until June 10th.

Allods Online explains designing a raid in great detail

Fantasy, Endgame, News Items, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Dungeons

Who knows you might even see this guy?
Have you ever wanted to know exactly what goes into designing a new raid for Allods Online? Because there are apparently a lot of moving pieces at play. The latest article from the community team is penned by one of the game designers, and it explains extensively just what is involved in bringing a raid from the concept stage to the actual playable level.

For Allods Online, the first step is the writing team coming up with a concept for the raid that makes sense in the game world and ties into major figures. That leads to the creature and object designers getting a sense of how much can be done for any given raid -- how many new enemies can be created, how many bosses can be made, how big the maps can be. From there it's on to layout and battle mechanics. For a more in-depth overview, take a look at the full entry on the official site.

Rise and Shiny: Allods Online's Pearl Ring, selling power, and the Astral

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Rise and Shiny, Livestream

Allods Online screenshot
Allods Online has long been a game that immediately conjures up some form of controversy any time it is mentioned. Whether it's because of cash-shop policies, changes to game mechanics, or the alleged mishandling of player issues, the game just can't seem to catch a break. Since the very beginning, I knew that the players who were complaining the loudest also loved the game the most -- a standard for the industry -- and that, meanwhile, thousands of players have enjoyed the game since being introduced. I have always loved it, but from the point of view of someone who is a constant newb and explorer. I have never understood the raider mentality or at least never wanted to; if I wanted to work at a game, I would get a job playing games. Oh, wait.

This week I sat down to go through the newest bit of content, The Pearl Ring, to see just how fun the game could be on a character fitted with good gear and attached to a super-friendly yet hardcore raiding guild. I also wanted to explore the more general gameplay and pay another visit to the shining light of the Allods universe: the Astral.

What I found surprised me and made me remember just how incredible this game is.

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Gpotato's Sevencore meets an early demise

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, News Items, Free-to-Play, Legal, Allods Online

Sevencore screenshot
Despite recently seeing the first of what players hoped would be a string of new content, gPotato's new title Sevencore announced today that it will be closing its doors. A forum post says that the game "has proved to be less attractive to players than anticipated and thus [it's] become unprofitable for the developer to be continued as a game." The developers hope to transition active players by undertaking the following:
  • Reimbursing all gPotatoes spent between the 1st of February and today as well as between 30% and 75% of purchases prior to this date,
  • Closing the in-game shop with immediate effect while considering making all shop items available for free,
  • Keeping the game open until the end of April,
  • Boosting experience gain and running events during the final period of the game, and
  • Encouraging players to migrate to other gPotato games with special enticement packages.
This bad news comes on the heels of the news that Webzen recently purchased gPotato and Gala-Net. Perhaps the purchase will breath new life into the developer after it showed a dip in quarterly sales when compared to the last year.

Allods Online dev blog details the Dominion Wars

Fantasy, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Dev Diaries

Screenshot -- Allods Online
For some time now, gPotato has been detailing the features of Allods Online's upcoming content update, Lords of Destiny. Today, the final Lords of Destiny devblog discusses one last major feature: the Dominion Wars. The Dominion Wars are described as "battles that will allow guilds to become true leaders of the Astral and gain precious resources, and from them players can gain glyphs that will enhance their equipment even further.

In order to join in the battle, players must be level 55 and have the necessary keys for access to the Dominion Wars. Each skirmish in the Dominion Wars consists of two rounds, each lasting 10 minutes. In the first round, one team will play on defense and the other on offense with the roles being reversed in the second round. Attacking players will be tasked with capturing enemy checkpoints, and each checkpoint captured will increase the time of the round by two minutes (though the second round can be no longer than the first). At the end of both rounds, whichever team captured the most checkpoints is declared the victor. For the full details on this complex new system, check out the entire post at the Allods official site.

Allods Online upgrades gear with glyphs

Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, Free-to-Play, Allods Online

Allods Online upgrades gear with glyphs
Allods Online's Lords of Destiny expansion is already shaping up to be one of the bigger additions to the game. Now the team has announced a major new system called glyphs that will be included as well.

Glyphs are a new type of loot that can upgrade gear to add more stats and special properties. The gear in question has to be level 51 or higher and match the type of stats that the glyph is offering. Each piece of gear can be expanded to include three types of glyph: offensive, defensive, and special. Glyphs themselves can be improved with a component that drops only in the new Dominion battleground.

There looks to be several different ways to get your grubby mitts on glyphs. They can drop, you can do a quest to buy a glyph box, you can buy them from an NPC if your reputation is high enough, and some crafters are able to make them.

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