I really enjoyed experiencing tight-knit party play for the first time in AO, my job was a little CC and generall DD. Reloading arrows can be a pain in the neck mid-fight but it does add some depth to the class mechanics.

All in all, its very enjoyable, albeit a little tough! We got through this boss, only to wipe twice on the next one, (with the bugged cageDoT and bubble). Unfortunately, I had to cut FRAPS towards the end of the video, you can tell my little laptop didn't much appreciate it!

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more.
 
 
For me, the critical success of any MMO rests in the hands of those thousands of loyal players. In anticipation for the Open Beta tommorow, I expect the following from AO.

Decent server latency: granted this is one of the more popular F2P MMOs out there, and player base has been brilliant, never the less I expect the server(s) to be nice and green, as they have had the stress test.

A friendly and helpful community: not all players will have experienced the Closed Beta. I did, though unfortunately only a very small time slot. I didn't get past level ten. So I hope people don't automatically assume everyone knows what they're doing, when they're doing it and why, this is the time to shine if you got to 'end-game', your knowledge will be invaluable (at the minimum, for someone of the same class) generally.

Genuine enthusiasm from AO GMs: it is very motivating when you see your server GM egging you on, I hope they don't back away from time-to-time interactivety with the player-base as they certaintly weren't shy in CB.

PvP co-operation: I want to see Guilds organizing strategy and I want to see user-created events. Only we can make the best memories happen.

As for lasting appeal, my newly-chosen race/class combo of a Kanian Scout should wet my apetite. I've created a build around group snergy, as I want to PvP with a partner, or two or three others, primarily. The build will be providing locking knock-downs and silences for those pesky Mages, but one that can also kite well, and take a few hits if needed.

As for solo PvP, the beauty of stealth is I can pick and choose!

Unto the breach once more, milord!
 
 
So this is just a general tip for PvP, recommended in a BG or just when you think you're going to be biting the dust. Try and Frost Nova after an early Ice Block break and do as shown. It can be really well done.

NOTE: Hunter in the video is a good friend of mine, is level 77 and has no PvP gear equipped, I am 80 and have got PvP gear on (albeit a bit rubbish).

This was simply to show the effectiveness of the tactic, he was kind enough to let me test it on him.
 
 
So I purchased FRAPS recently and I've tested it out. I shall provide various videos soon, including pvp and anything I regard as interesting.

This was basically just a test. It shows off the Macro I use, that should be popped during a Bloodlust/Heroism attempt.

The Macro consists of;

/say Me be real mad now! (Or whatever emote you like, or none at all)
/cast Icy Veins
/stopcasting
/cast Arcane Power
/stopcasting
/cast Beserking (Troll Racial)
/stopcasting
/cast Mirror Image
/use Item '#' (Trinkets - My current trinkets are proc only)

Order doesn't matter but make sure MI is near the bottom as it is that which causes the GCD.

Spam AB and watch the ridiculous numbers fly everywhere. If you have the TX4 then obviously consume the AM procs for the haste.

Usual 57/3/11 spec. Naff gear.

Pretty basic, as I said its just a FRAPS test.
 
 
Now you see me...

At first, you may think 'What? Only one talent tree?'. I can't really blame you, though AO grasps more customization than you'll first notice.

In that one talent tree each class has, there are points to be spent every level. In most other MMOs, talent trees have very boring albeit useful things in them, e.g

'Stance Mastery - You keep up to ten points of rage when switching stances'.

Allods Online doesn't really go with that formula, everything in the tree is an ability, and it is the bulk of where your skills will come from after level five.

You obviously cap at a certain point, so decisions are important, even though it is entirely possible to re-train them whenever you feel like it.

Aside from the tree, there are also your mandatory stat points, each time you level, you gain a point to place in any stat. I thought it would lock out certain stats not appreciated by the players class, but no. This means you may go up against a Mage that doesn't do that much damage to you, yet he has a massive health cap because he's stacking HP.

Of course there is the learning curve of which stats benefit what and so on, AO aids you in this by placing a star next to your most important stats, and even when a stat drops too low for their liking, they warn you. For instance, my agility isn't good enough, so it tells me.

Need control!

This is a decent amount to be thinking about already, but the aforementioned 'boring, but necessary talents' are still here, just in another form.

Unfortunately, the 'Ruby' customization starts at level ten, as you can see, I'm nine as of now and I can't see me getting any further before Closed Beta ends. But that is where all the 'Increases dodge by 10% when under 35% health' stuff happens, it also has abilities too.

In my eyes, AO will do a great job at keeping you thinking about your character and its steady progression throughout the many levels you reach.

Also, I snagged some screenshots of the Cash Shop for you all to ponder over, enjoy!

Shop
Shop
Shop
Shop
Shop
 
 
When I play games like Allods Online, it reminds me of Lord of the Rings Online, among others, they have no modding capability. No add-ons are useable.

Damage meters like this are literally a necessity in WoW, everyone needs them. Raids need to be able to know who is slacking. I need to know what does most damage and how, it aids me in doing my job properly, killing the enemy quickly and efficiently.

Though with this comes almost narcissism from elitists who feel the need to spam it in /Party or /Guild and brag. When you haven't a clue who is doing the most damage, you simply couldn't care less.

In Lord of the Rings Online, you say to yourself.

"Yeah, its probably that Hunter over there, though who gives a crap?".
Like oil...
It's a bear necessity...
 
Bold move. 02/11/2010
 
A GM comes on <World> chat and says 'Crazy free item shop madness!'.

Last time I checked it didn't even load...Oh!

So the EU GM's decided to let all of us participate in a free preview of the item shop implemented in Allods Online. It was annoying, but I could see where they were coming from and why they did it.

They obviously would love it for everyone to become massively addicted to gulping down gallons of Elixirs and opening tons of Chests. This way, when the Item shop actually costs, and gear/character progression actually matters, people will know what they want and how it effects their performance, and probably buy it, if the price is reasonable enough.

I saw no game-breaking potions or anything, just trinkets and general useful items. Depending on how popular the shop becomes, it will no doubt have a dramatic effect on the in-game economy.

More later...
 
Gotcha! 02/11/2010
 
I've found my class, Psionicist. They're mainly CC from what I've heard, and boy are they fun, if you enjoy that type of thing.

DPS is slow at the moment but only two classes out of all of them I've played have actually shined in that department, the Scout and the Mage.

I'll post a video later, showing the basic rotation and survivability of the Psi, in PvE of course. Bearing in mind I'm only a little level 9!

Oh, and Closed Beta ends for EU tommorow, so we'll have to wait until the 16th for anymore Allods!
Backdrop
I am IRON MAN!
 
 
Character creation is pretty bog-standard, nothing new here. Better customization than that other MMO, but that isn't hard to accomplish. What is striking, however, is the very innovative art design.

Mainly, this applies to the Empire side, what with the Arisen, a bunch of undead cyborg-esque humaniods and the very Warhammer-resembling badass Orcs. But Gibberlings (on the League side) are too very creative than simply saying 'Ah, were just going to make a Gnome or Goblin race'.

Gibberlings are basically furry oversized hamsters and travel in packs of three, hence you play as all three Gibberlings at once, which sounds, and is, hilarious.

There are multiple classes, seven in total. And with those seven classes comes race dependant sub-classes. Nothing much is different between say, a Orc Warden and a Gibberling Warden though, aside the name and racial ability they gain.

Classes include; Warrior, Paladin, Mage, Summoner, Healer, Warden and Psionicist.

Every single MMORPG feels different and a bit clunky when you first start playing, and Allods is no different. Bearing in mind I had just been playing WoW, the most polished MMORPG on the planet.

So I instantly changed some Key Mapping around, adjusted the visuals for the maximum my Laptop could handle, and fiddled with the audio.

After tweeking bits and bobs (which wasn't really needed, just personal preferences), I went on my way through the first five levels (tutorial).

I was cautious at first, combat was a bit clunky as any melee and some classes seemed very overpowered in comparison to others. In the end though I got used to it all and greatly enjoyed the first five levels or so of most of the classes I went through. 

I wanted a tank really. But the Human race of the Empire had some animation issues, it wasn't very smooth, so I rolled an Orc Brute and had a blast, fluid animations and a hilarious stomping sound when you move around provides fun-factor.

Next, I gave in to my inner Mage-ness (Mage in WoW) and rolled an Arisen Sorceror, It is fun but I still wasn't satisfied that I found my right Race/Class combo.

I rolled an Orc Warden (like the druid class in WoW but with a pet), they are extremely interesting and should make very good opponents in PvP.

I'm still not 100% sure I've found what I want. I hope I do, and I'm not just wierd. Might try a Healer, see what happens.

Class stuff aside, this game runs great. Looks great and feels very stable for a free game in Closed Beta. There are still some minor issues, some names in Russain native for instance, but they should be ironed out soon enough.

It also seems to have a decent populace already, as I never felt alone. I witnessed some impressive looking level forties, (end-game) and the armour looked terrific. Spells look fantastic in general.

There is something wrong with my settings though, or the game client itself, I'm not sure if it is just me and my little laptop or everyone else too. I get sounds issues, I can't hear my own casting/spell sounds or movement sometimes, yet can hear everyone else fine. Might be a bug, if so its annoying but bearable for the time being.

Oh and the music, pretty outstanding. Literally 99.98% of these faults and issues I find are irrelevant, because you remember it's a free game and reminisce about all the naff F2P games you've played in the past.

Will keep updating.
 
 
Sent
After signing up for an eu GPotato account, I eagerly awaited the Closed Beta code for which I needed to play the game I had installed and patched up on my desktop.

I didn't receive one for 2 days, I assumed this was because they announced Open Beta arrival on 16th Febuary, and were a bit busy with that. Eventually, I decided to e-mail them, stating I couldn't get on and had no code.

It took them two minutes, to reply. Two minutes! And not with one code, with a dozen 'to share with friends'. Such an insanely speedy reply, must be congratulated, I only slap myself for taking so long to e-mail them!
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