The patch notes on Allods Online‘s website revealed some disconcerting information about the changes that would take place with the new patch, mixed in with the promise of all the new content and improvements it would bring. The patch has been live since Wednesday, July 7th. Since then there has been a sharp decline in the player-base: forum-goers have noted how incredibly empty the game has become one week since the new patch went up.
Firstly, lets look at the patch in a positive light. Players can now re-set talents, have access to the new martyr skills, have an all new Allod/region to explore, can enjoy plenty of the annoying bug-fixes, etc. Mounts should be included here too, but their legendary lack of speed makes them somewhat moot. Still, good stuff!
However, the most significant (and negative) gameplay-related changes are as follows:
- Players deal less damage to enemies. Period. This is compounded by the fact that enemies get very noticeable stat-increases after level 20, meaning that mobs hit like trucks, and your about as dangerous as a de-clawed kitten. Worse still, leveling costs have skyrocketed, meaning players need to fight much more to level up.
Remember how “incense” was used to remove the obnoxious “Fear of Death” penalty pre-patch? And how incense provided players with significant stat-bonuses that gave a tremendous advantage to players who bought and used them? Well, despite the changes the patch has brought, incense is still crucial to gameplay thanks the nerf players got, and the buff enemies were given.
Fear of Death is gone! Sweet! But instead of a temporary debuff to your stats, players can now incur a curse that permanently inverts stats on random gear equipped. This specifically targets gear that doesn’t suck – that is to say, rare, epic, and legendary equipment. Awesome?
At least the Fear of Death mechanic, despite it’s obvious intention to herd players toward the cash shop, could be bypassed by waiting for the penalty to pass with time, or buying Myrrh with in-game gold. There is no way to avoid the new curse mechanic outside of luck, or buying the restorative “Scroll of Purification” or the preventative “Holy Charm” with real money.
Enemies now hit harder, players deal less damage and leveling up takes longer: all this amounts to is more deaths. Players will need to either buy incense (with real money) to not die at the drop of a pin and deal respectable damage to opponents, or buy charms and scrolls (again, with real money) to remove the curse effect should they die. And players will die. A lot. That is how the game has been rigged.
As one can imagine, the player base has not been happy with the patch, and it’s players have noted time and time again that guilds are emptying, familiar players are logging-in much less, and some areas in-game have become ghost towns. Sadly, publisher Gala-Net can do little to ease players woes, as Astrum Nival is Allods Online‘s developer, and the Russian and European servers are dealing with the same issues. We’ll have to wait and see how Astrum Nival responds.