With those voted handled and counted, my adventure had officially begun.
It's hard to get a read on a game after just a few hours, but one element of Allods Online has already surfaced as something of a problem. Since voters elected for me to play on the game's subscription server, I had to first pay for a month or so of game time. Foolishly, I assumed this would be a simple matter of opening a form, sticking my credit card numbers in it, and calling it a day. This was far from the case.
There's another major problem with the gPotato currency. Purchases must sit through an approval process which I assume is in place to limit fraud. That's certainly fair, but as of my typing this (17 hours after purchasing gPotatoes), I cannot use the currency I paid for, which means I cannot access the subscription server. That's quite a few complications for a game that the publisher would theoretically very much like to have me paying to play.
Getting into the game
Since playing the game is a very important part of the Choose My Adventure series (you could probably say it's the most important part), I ended up creating our community-chosen character on the free-to-play server just so I could get the ball rolling. I'll be recreating him on the sub server as soon as my gPotatoes are done baking or whatever it is they're doing besides not allowing me to use money I've already spent.
Allods Online is a hotbar-based MMO, and it plays like one. The mechanics are very smooth, the spells are pretty, and the pace is fast, but at its core it's a similar experience to Aion, World of Warcraft, and RIFT. Allods is fun, however, and the interesting inter-linked abilities of the Psionicist had me on my toes. I'm looking forward to seeing how his spells evolve as we level up; I am told Psionicist is one of the more complicated classes to play.
From the limited view I've had so far, I'm impressed with Allods Online. Payment troubles and hotbar MMO familiarities aside, it's a much higher-quality product than I had been expecting.
Seeking a career and an adventure
Now that we've established where we are, it's time to figure out where we're going. Allods, like other level-centric MMOs, is fairly limited for low-level characters. And since the starting set of quests only takes us to about level 7, we can't exactly go leaping off into PvP town or start building high-tier weapons with which to slay space-dragons (or whatever Allods has). However, there are a couple of decisions worth making right here and now.
I'm relying on you, Massively readers, to recommend the gathering profession that will offer me the shortest path to wealth beyond imagining:
Next up, it's time to choose a focus for my gameplay. Some MMO players enjoy immersing themselves in lore, reading up on the universe's history, and working to understand how their character fits in. Some prefer to ignore all quest text and level as quickly as possible. And others enjoy wandering around wherever the road may take them, experiencing the game as an experiment in exploration.
Since this is our journey together, it's up to you how we go about embarking upon it:
That's that for this week. Remember, all polls close on Sunday, December 29th, at 12:01 a.m. EST. Stay tuned to the Stream Team schedule for chances to catch your votes in action and feel free to offer me whatever advice you may have via Twitter: @MikedotFoster
Mike Foster is looking for a way to beat the winter chill, preferably by losing himself in a brand-new game world. Help him find his way to warmth in Choose My Adventure, and keep an eye out for him on the Massively Stream Team as he puts your votes into action.