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Choose My Adventure: Against Allods


Last week's Choose My Adventure poll turned out to be something of a landslide. A couple of tweets and forum posts were all it took for gPotato's Allods Online to emerge the very clear winner of a race that included titles like Guild Wars, Champions Online, DC Universe Online, and Defiance. And now, with the winner chosen, it's time to leap into the fray and start smashing things in the face with fireballs or mallets or whatever it is one smashes with in Allods Online.

But of course, this is a community activity. I can't simply create a character and start questing. No, dear readers, I need your help in deciding where and how this adventure begins. So let's get it started.

To pay or not to pay?

If the comments section on last week's post is any indicator, there seems to be some disagreement in the Allods community as to whether I'll be able to get the full game experience from the title's free-to-play server. Several commenters insist that I'll be at a severe disadvantage by skipping the subscription-based server, while several others claim that free-to-play would be more than enough for my initial jaunt into the world of Sarnaut.

Allods Online
From what I can tell by reading the info page on the official Allods website, the subscription server does have some big benefits including faster leveling, better quest rewards, an additional gear slot, and gold-based character customization (let me know if I got anything wrong, Allods players). But the free-to-play server is, of course, free, and playing there might give us a better look at what budget-conscious gamers can expect from Allods Online.

This one's up to you:
Faction frenzy

Like many other fantasy MMOs, Allods Online features a playerbase split by warring factions. On one side we have the League, founded "upon the precepts of honor, devotion, and nobility." On the other we have the Empire, described as "ruthless, industrial, and militaristic." If we choose the League, we'll be able to play as elegant Elves, tiny Gibberlings, or human Kanians. If we enlist in the Empire, we can play as menacing Orcs, creepy Arisen, or also-human Xadaganians.

Allods Online
The faction decision is important for more than one reason. It affects not only the races to which we have access but also the list of classes that are available to us. There are nine total archetypes in Allods Online, but each archetype manifests differently depending on the faction you choose. The healer archetype, for instance, is found in the Cleric class for the League and the Inquisitor class for the Empire.

Choose which faction I should represent and I'll bear the banner proudly. Just make sure you weigh the decision carefully before you cast your vote:
A question of race

Once our faction choice is out of the way, we'll need to choose a race. As noted above, the choices for the League are Elves, Gibberlings, and Kanians, while the choices for the Empire are Orcs, Arisen, and Xadaganians. Racial selection is also a decision that is fraught with consequence; every race offered by Allods Online possesses a special bonus for the archetypes that are available to it.

Allods Races
Because reprinting each racial per-archetype bonus would essentially take up the rest of this post (and half of the next one), instead I'll include this link that walks through each one. The racial bonuses offered by Allods Online don't seem to be small in nature, so it's important we consider each one before voting. The choice we make in race will have an enormous impact on the way our class plays, especially at the lower levels.

Here are our options:
Stepping into a role

The final decision we need to make relates to which archetype we're actually going to play. The nine archetypes in Allods Online correspond pretty closely to archetypes we're familiar with in other fantasy MMOs. Though there are differences in the way each class performs the role, the archetypes are pretty standard MMO fare.

Allods Classes
Mage: Mages rely on ice, fire, and electric magic to do damage to their enemies. They wear cloth armor and are more fragile than other classes, but they make up for the fragility with magical barriers and illusions.

Warrior: Warriors are melee fighters with access to pretty much any weapon in the game. They wear plate armor and are able to equip shields so that they may tank in group encounters. Warriors are also capable of putting out mass damage with enormous two-handers or by dual-wielding.

Scout: Scouts are agile and sneaky hunters capable of fighting at both melee distance and from afar. They wear leather armor for the sake of mobility and have a number of escape mechanisms at their disposal. Scouts do damage with enchanted arrows and razor-sharp blades.

Healer: Healers in Allods Online aren't the robe-wearing squishies you might expect. Healers wear plated armor, can temporarily turn invincible, and can utilize hammers and spears to fight multiple foes at once. The Healer archetype is a bit more rugged in this game than in others.

Warden: Wardens use the power of nature to handle their foes, relying on roots, lighting, and whirlwinds to dispatch those that would oppose them. They wear leather armor and have the benefit of a companion pet that assists them in battle.

Summoner: Summoners use dark magic to injure and disease their opponents. Additionally, they use summoned undead minions as pawns in their battles. Summoners are also capable of stealing life and vitality from foes to heal both themselves and their party members.

Psionicist: Psionicists use the power of the mind to confuse, manipulate, and otherwise handle enemies. They can control time, move foes, and summon mirror images of themselves to create an advantage over an opponent. They also have the benefit of leather armor.

Bard: Bards use the power of their voice to enhance the abilities of their teammates. They wear leather armor and are capable of disabling enemies with their songs. The Bard is essentially the "buff" archetype in Allods Online.

Paladin: Paladins wear heavy armor and use a shield along with the power of holy magic to dispatch those who would challenge them. Paladins can erect powerful magical barriers to keep themselves safe from harm and can also switch to two-handed weapons for greater damage.

Now that you know the choices, let's get to the choosing:
That's everything for this week. To recap: I need you to choose a server, a faction, a race, and a class for me. Because races are split by faction and all archetypes aren't available to all races, I'll take the highest vote from each category that actually creates a character we're allowed to create. All polls close at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, December 21st.

Let's get this adventure started!

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.

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