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Allods Online hasn’t quite permeated the gaming sphere with saturated memes, Leroy Jenkins videos or Chuck Norris jokes, but one thing people have already been calling Allods is the close relative to World of Warcraft. They both have very similar visual aesthetics and gameplay mechanics. However, the big difference is that Allods doesn’t pit medieval fantasy against dark medieval fantasy, it’s instead medieval fantasy versus an alternate World War II astral-powered aristocracy. There are also some other big differences between the two games and because of this I think it’s only suiting to do a showdown between these two behemoth MMOs in a MMORPG Battleground bout featuring World of Warcraft vs Allods Online.
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Round 1: Race, Class And Customization
World of Warcraft: This game has a whopping 12 different races to choose from, a few of which are variants of the same thing. Nevertheless, there are six races per side (Alliance and Horde) with two new races joining the game thanks to the recent Cataclysm update. In addition to this, there are 10 different character classes to choose from and more than 45 different combinations of races and classes in the game, giving gamers a very nice variety when it comes to choosing how you look and what you are.
The create-a-character in World of Warcraft is certainly no Aion Online or Perfect World International, however gamers do get to pick from the aforementioned races above as well as a class, and then the option to select a face, hair, hair color, skin color and facial features becomes available. It’s all quite generic but the real highlight of character customization is based on how the character is leveled and what equipment they earn throughout the game. There are also rare items and vanity items available to outfit a character with thanks to a flourishing cash shop.
Allods Online: There are only six races available in the game with a total of 28 different classes. That’s still a lot but just barely over half the amount of classes available in World of Warcraft. The create-a-character feature is practically identical to World of Warcraft with the exception of choosing how tall or how fat, skinny or muscular your character can be. The biggest difference is mainly in how aesthetically diverse the character classes are in Allods, despite having fewer options than World of Warcraft.
Another varying aspect of Allods is in the way the characters are portrayed in the game, especially with the Gibberlings and Arisens, one being a small furry, cat/dog-like creature while the other is a tall, exo-skeleton with robotic moving parts and equally clunky movements. Of course, both games have their fair share of humans and Orcs alike.
Verdict: World of Warcraft takes the round simply as a force of quantity over quality. While Allods has more detailed characteristics to the classes and races, World of Warcraft simply has more options, which equates to more player distinction and customization in the long run.
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Round 2: PvP And PvE
World of Warcraft: The game became renowned for its questing system and party-play. The easily accessible questing system makes it convenient for newbs and hardcore gamers to hop right into the game and earn some decent gear and level up their character quite efficiently. The game plays like most other MMOs that followed suit, with majority of the gameplay being dictated by a combination of mouse and keyboard play.
The PvE in World of Warcraft is standard-fare to most other MMOs and the newer content for the game takes more creative liberties with the way questing is handled, offering players more areas to visit, more locations and more enemies to face off against. The strategy of fighting foes in PvE is similar to older Final Fantasy titles, with buffs, spells and attacks having more or less of an effect based on the enemy.
PvP in World of Warcraft is a little less effective than PvE, mainly because the PvP is an afterthought to the rest of the game. Still, there are designated areas available for players to join PvP matches and it’s easy to join a queue and face off against like-leveled players. The action is decent and any player with typical 3D MMORPG PvP experience will find it decent enough.
Allods Online: Unlike World of Warcraft, Allods Online was built from the ground up for PvP. In fact, the entire starting PvE areas for both factions on the game are mainly designed to help get players acquainted with the controls and play scheme in order to PvP later on. The PvE in the game is adequate enough and for the most part it’s the standard point-and-click affair with moderate team skills required for certain enemies, but PvE for Allods Online is more of an after-thought to the PvP.
The real highlight of Allods’ PvP is that after level 25 the entire game centers on competitive, progressive PvP-storytelling. Many of the bonuses and progressive elements of the game are contained in contested zones. What’s more is that Allods takes on a very fast-paced, quick-thinking hardcore persona when the PvP kicks in and environments in the game play about as much an important role as the actual skills that players will use. Hiding in a thicket or camping a questing NPC for the opposing faction is not uncommon, making Allods one of the rare MMOs where players constantly have to think about where they go and who they go there with, otherwise there could be a gang waiting around the corner.
Verdict: While the PvP and PvE in World of Warcraft is continually seeing new updates and new content, it’s not quite as tightly knitted as that of Allods. WoW definitely has better PvE, but the PvP zones are somewhat dull and lacking in comparison to the intensity and unparalleled paranoia that comes with the open-world PvP-vs-PvE in Allods. This feature adds an extra layer of immersion and community and forces players to come up with competitive strategies on the fly to try to stay one step ahead of their opponents, hence this round goes to Allods.
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Round 3: Raids And Endgame
World of Warcraft: Blizzard really put a lot of time and effort into the raiding qualities of World of Warcraft; it’s helped spawn popular videos such as Leroy Jenkins. The raid dungeons in World of Warcraft are mostly fun-filled, team-oriented dungeons that require a moderate amount of team work, some decent quick-fingered skill tossing and no one who runs into a room that gets the entire team murdered. The dungeons in WoW are similar to the rest of the game’s atmosphere, insofar that they’re mostly spacious enough to give up to 25 people room to run around in and enough baddies to fight so no one feels left out.
The endgame content of World of Warcraft features epic-sized boss battles and clammy-palmed mob grinding. Most of the juicy end-game content didn’t arrive until the later expansion packs for WoW, which featured brand new locations, additional loot, PvP battlegrounds and rare equipment for players who reached the max level. Some of the other aspects of the endgame in WoW revolves around PvP encounters and small raiding teams composed of elite players tackling tough dungeons and areas. There’s also guild events that sees one guild attempting to attack and control a town while another attempts the same thing. This gives the game a constant tug-of-war feel for high level guilds, as they wage war to control specific territories within the game on the PvP event servers.
Allods Online: Raiding in Allods is not a frequent thing at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite…there aren’t many 20 man plus raiding areas in the game outside of Gorluxor’s Tower. Instead, the instances in Allods allow up to six-people to raid a dungeon at a time and each person must utilize their skills to the utmost in order to complete the dungeon. The difficulty for the raids in Allods is very high, as it preps players for some of the endgame content later on. With the appropriate gear and maybe a high level player lending a hand the dungeons are doable in Allods but still difficult.
Where Allods shines in this area is not with its instanced dungeons but instead with its tiered endgame content. After hitting the high levels in Allods Online players will build their very own astral ship and venture out into the astral. Astral ships require a full crew of player-characters and each person must man a position on the ship. The astral contains instanced allods, however if they are completed they disappear from the astral map for a set time, which means not everyone in the astral can do the same allod at the same time. This creates a very competitive race to reach and complete an allod in order to get the loot and get it back safely, while sometimes engaging in large scale astral battles against other player ships and NPC demons. Since most of the endgame items are hard to acquire even for the most skilled players, the replay values stay intact especially considering that there are confrontations to control allod sectors and continual PvP in contested zones to acquire decent gear.
Verdict: This is an extremely tough call considering that the endgame content of World of Warcraft is heavily story-oriented and gives players a strong sense of accomplishment. The same can be said of Allods, too. While World of Warcraft contains more raiding possibilities and dungeons, the tip of the scale falls slightly in favor of Allods simply because of the astral travel, which is like entirely new game combined with the standard MMORPG elements. The unconventional depth added to the astral really makes Allods shine like few MMOs do and by a small margin, I must give this round to Allods.
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Final Verdict: Allods Online
While many fans would easily disagree, this very close battleground bout will have to go to Allods Online. Perhaps since the game is newer and the developers had a lot of time to iron a lot of the kinks it allowed them to design a very high quality game. The real deciding factor is with the endgame content, especially the contested astral PvP zones where players trek out into the astral to battle other players while attempting to loot allod shards and fighting off massive and devastating astral demons. Literally, it's like getting two games in one.
Nevertheless, World of Warcraft is a massive title with more content, zones, costumes, gear and items than most other MMOs out there.
More than anything, gamers can take from this bout that Allods is no simple clone and gamers who enjoy MMOs for both the community and the competitive edge of PvP will find plenty of it in gPotato’s Allods Online. Still, World of Warcraft is a great starter MMO for newbies and veteran gamers alike.
Take a look at this article series for a collection of viewpoints on World of Warcraft and other competing MMORPG's.