Hi, and welcome to a fun story about cheating on your loved one.
And I want you to know… I’m not ashamed. Not in the slightest. I’d do it again.
In fact, even now, I’m PLANNING on doing it!
For the longest time, I’ve been in a dedicated, serious relationship.
Years. YEARS of my life dedicated to my one and only.
Oh, sure, I’ve flirted before. But I never felt that same passion, y’know?
But, well… I’m cheating now. And I find that I like it.
I mean, of course, that WoW is no longer the only MMO in my life.
I started playing Allods Online last night.
I’ll let that sink in. I know, a lot of you are probably in shock, very nearly in tears at the idea that I could do such a thing to WoW, after all that we’ve meant to each other.
Hmmm…. okay, I think I’ve played around with silly euphemisms enough. You don’t come here for my playful messing with descriptions, you come here for…
You know, I don’t really know WHY you come here.
Maybe I should insert a song about hedgehogs.
Nah. Too derivative.
Back to the point, Cassie and I look around, check out the MMOs out there, read about ‘em on websites, but never really play ‘em.
Heck, I don’t even HAVE any other games on my computer except Warcraft III, because when I bought my new computer late last year, I only installed what I played; WoW and WC3, and haven’t had any others to spend time with.
Shoot, I don’t even play Guitar Hero much anymore, except when Cassie asks me what the heck we spent all that damn money on it for.
Then I play a couple “guilt songs”.
You know, the “See, I’m playing it dear, don’t veto future game purchases based on my past history of not playing the games you already bought for me” songs.
Me and WoW. We be tight, mon. Peace. (Had somebody say that to me today. “Peace out”. Sadly he was over 50, and he was serious. He wasn’t being funny. It is to weep.)
Sure, we created characters to try Free Realms, because, hey, it’s free. Let’s check it out.
Then we made characters and tried out Earth Eternal. Free again.
Both of them are damn cute, and a lot of fun. Don’t get me wrong, I actually think very, very highly of Earth Eternal, and Free Realms had fantastic ideas.
But… they didn’t combine the graphics, allure of the mature character class and race and faction dynamics, and the “easy to learn, lifetime to master” intricacy of mechanics that WoW offered.
To reference one of BRK’s favorite shows, Chopped, it’s easy to make a great tasting dessert for most diners out of chocolate, cream, sugar and strawberries.
It’s the complexity of adding unusual or complex ingredients that complement the dish in fascinating, unexpected or unique ways that excited the jaded palatte. Like cayenne pepper in your chocolate sauce or Miso paste in your cookie dough. (And seriously. Miso sugar cookie dough? What are you people smoking?)
After the feast that is WoW, us connoiseurs of the MMO crave something more than an apple pie a la mode.
Nothing wrong with apple pie a la mode. It’s quite satisfying, and I’m at heart not that picky. I love me some apple pie a la mode.
But I do have that jaded palatte. I’m used to that upper level of MMO. The intricate, the mature. I crave complexity, depth, challenges. There has to be a hint of mystery. Adventure. Something new and unexpected waiting around the next corner.
Wait, I am still talking about MMOs, right? Relationships, food… I did have lunch today, right?
Get to the damn point!
Cassie had been reading about Allods Online, following it on Massively, and recently Tesh has posted about it a few times, and it went into open Beta two days ago.
Cassie told me that, not only was it going into open Beta, but they had also announced that at the end of the Beta, they weren’t doing a server wipe. The characters you created now, and their names, would endure past live launch.
The game is free to play, and will be supported by an in-game store with microtransactions.
In reading on what’s out there on it, it seemed to have interesting graphics, a deep backstory, strange sounding classes mixed in with the traditional, and a lot of stuff going on.
And it looked very, very advanced. Dare I say it? As promising of depth and complexity (and duration) as WoW.
What the heck, let’s try it!
I got the game downloaded and installed two nights ago, but work is… intense right now. We are in crisis control mode 24/7 these days, and I feel guilty only putting in 10 or 12 hour days most days. So, not much playtime.
But last night… ah, last night I gave it a shot.
It’s a fantasy setting, but very innovative, lots of cool ideas.
What interested me right up front, was that there is a race called the Gibberlings.
The Gibberlings are a communal race. The description says there are almost always triplet Gibberlings, and they are rarely seen without their brothers and sisters with them. They are a very tight knit family.
This translates into your player character, if a Gibberling… as a group of three little furry kneebiters that somehow can be short, furry, with fanged teeth, and still seem awesome instead of like nauseating little Ewok clones.
You name each individual Gibberling in your cluster, and customize their appearance totally, different heights if you want, the whole nine yards. Only one of them is considered your “main” Gibberling, the front man so to speak, so when you send messages or chat, that’s the name others see.
I created a Gibberling, named all three, tweaked their appearances, and away we went. Character creation? Smooth.
I chose as a class the Scout, which translates into a combination Archer/Rogue. Ranged achery skills and special abilities mixed with stealth, poisons, and excellent fast speed melee combat capability.
I played through the intro, and it was a very, very well set up intro, an instanced area that allowed you to level to 4 while going through the tutorial, lots of different quest types right up front, good intro into how to play, lots of tension.
One thing that I noticed was, I had three Gibberlings.
The one up front carried a big mace… and one of the two following carried a crossbow.
Sure as hell, when I started ranged attacks, the Gibberling with the bow stepped forward and started shooting. When an enemy got into melee range, my mace wielder moved to the fore to beat him down.
There is a tanking class available to Gibberlings. It makes me wonder, when using shield block style actions, does the third Gibberling move to intercept the attacks?
Really, it was very cool.
Unfortunately… I didn’t really get into it, because it had a “commander” feel to playing the character. I wasn’t playing one character, I was manuevering a party from place to place. Yes, it effectively handled like one character, but visually it looked like you were issueing orders to your squad leader. It was cool, but that wasn’t what I wanted to get into right at that moment.
So I then went back, and made a human (Kenian) Scout. Same class, just a human styled race.
The class was a lot of fun. Really, a damn nice combat system with a fun combination of abilities.
What I noticed around me was that most folks seemed to be Elves. Mages and Priests seemed extremely popular combinations for most players once past the starter instance.
All in all, I played for about 2 hours before I had to hit the sack, but I do feel I got a good idea of the basic playstyle, the graphics, the movement. Enough to get a sense of it as a game.
End result, I think it’s a game well worth getting into.
I don’t see it as something that is definitely going to replace WoW… but it is very cool.
It has a lot of potential.
Tonight, I’ve got plans in WoW, but I’ll definitely be dabbling in Allods Online this weekend a little, doing my bit to help Beta test as well as getting involved.
Honestly, the game seems amazing. I am quite happy with helping Beta test, with feedback, in the hopes that I can help contribute in my teeny, small way in getting it onto a successful and smooth launch.
I’m sure you will inevitably see screenshots from me, get a little analysis on whatever class I choose to really get into, maybe even find a tank and start trying it out and give some guidance there.
I do know that what you won’t find is me switching to only talking about Allods Online, and gushing.
I’m a Bear, and shame on Allods… there ain’t no class that let’s me be a big old bear.
World of Warcraft… you had me at “Be a bear”.
I’m interested in seeing more of the game than level 5. I already know that when you level, you can get stat points you choose where you will allocate amongst your stats. You get Talent points, and can spend them on a system of character class improvement identical to WoW’s talent tree system.
But I’ve heard from Tesh that at some point you begin earning points that can be spent to improve your character a third way… using a sphere grid system similar to Final Fantasy X/XII.
I played Final Fantasy X, and the idea of having that kind of class customization, a path through a sphere grid to follow when upgrading, on top of the talent trees and stats, causes me to think that the complexity of how to balance your class towards the role you choose will be very deep indeed.
Time will tell!