I’ve written a few times now about Allods Online, and even posted a handful of screenshots. It’s a beautiful game, full of interesting sights. The lore of a world split into chunks, floating on the magic Astral (aetheric space with pretty blue cloudy strands of… stuff), populated by survivors of the world-shattering cataclysm, provides for some fun visual elements. The verticality of the sights can be a bit… dizzying, though. (So Ysharros, consider yourself warned…)
(As before, I’m hiding all the pretty pictures behind a More link to keep from killing anyone visiting the front page with a dialup internet connection. If you’re direct linking to this, well… sorry, but it may take a little while to load. As before, each picture is actually a link to a bigger version, if you’re looking for a closer look.)
These “Allod” things are apparently chunks of a world set adrift in some sort of breathable space, here called the Astral.
Gravity is always downward, and somehow the Allods have retained the gravity of the full parent world. (They also all appear to be on the same Cartesian plane, rather than spread out in a sphere. The game world is therefore 3D, but not really spherical or even scattered, as might be expected from a planetary destruction.) You can walk off the edge of one of these Allods, and fall a while into the Astral. (Eventually, you “land” and die out in the middle of nowhere.)
It can be a heady experience, falling off the edge of the world. This is a sequence where I found a shipwreck with part of the hull just off shore. I thought I’d jump over to check it out.
I didn’t make it.
That’s the view looking up from where I botched the jump. As in, it’s so far off, that the clipping plane cut off the ship geometry. The angel in Purgatory was not happy with my performance.
She watches over you (and various other deceased characters) while your death counter ticks, then when your allotted time is up, you can revive, whisking yourself to the resurrection shrine nearest your unfortunate corpse… or the point where you fell into oblivion.
Just for reference, that blue geode asteroid… thing… you see in the “You Have Died” screen is pretty sizeable. Here are a few more shots of near the scene.
The edge isn’t always flat, either. It can be quite varied, as can the landscape nearby or underneath… something that you wouldn’t see with a “water level” shoreline. I really like this aspect of the Allod coasts.
Sometimes you travel to these places via an Astral ship like this one:
…but getting to that particular crystal island is an exercise in faith and magic bubbles. It’s not quite Glinda the Good Witch of the North’s technique, but Gibberlings can travel the Astral with the right help:
Next time, I take a ship.
Even the inland structures have a lot of verticality. Each capital city has a BIG ol’ Spire of Pay Attention To Me (perhaps because there is no minimap in the UI, so you can see these things from far away to orient yourself).
You can also explore that edge of the island over there by the city walls… but it may be a harrowing experience, or at least a narrow one.
Even the interiors are very vertical, as this steamworks interior over on the Empire side (I stitched this together from a series of screenshots)…
And even the caves have the occasional precipitous dropoff…
But back to the coasts of the league, there are other shipwrecks around, and it’s always interesting to check one out. It’s dangerous, living on the edge, perhaps, but I can’t help but explore.
In case it’s not clear by now, I do think that the ships and the “Allod” lore really do make this title stand out. Perhaps it’s not a groundbreakingly revolutionary game, but its broken ground and imaginative maritime flavor sell the place for me. This is also why I wish they would make soloable and duoable smaller ships. There are a lot of pieces of the world out there, and I want to go explore them.
I’ll settle for a sunset for now, though, and sign off for the night. It’s been a long day.