Allods Online NA Getting Subscription Server, But Can You Trust gPotato?
When Mail.Ru announced Allods Online was implementing a subscription-only server in its native land, Russia, international fans of the game wondered if they would ever see a similar option elsewhere. North American publisher gPotato confirmed yesterday that the game will be receiving a similar option under their watch, but is it too late? And can we really trust gPotato to handle this?
Cash shop killed the MMO star
From a technical and visual standpoint, Allods Online is known as one of the better World of Warcraft 'clone' MMORPGs. The gameplay is something familiar and the visuals aren't terrible -- both things that have drawn people to the game since its beta phases.
Unfortunately for the playerbase, the North American release carried over cash shop-only PvP potions from the Russian version of the game. For just a few dollars, players could instantly be stronger in PvP for 30 minutes. Without one of these potions, there was no point in even trying to PvP -- someone playing for free couldn't even compete.
The announcement and implementation of the PvP potions cut player numbers short near the end of beta, and marred its reputation forever. People who have never even played Allods Online know of what it used to be, even if it isn't necessarily as pay to win now.
The addition of a subscription-only server has been a massive success in Russia and is something that has been requested in North America for quite some time, but it may just be too late for the game in North America. A wealth of high quality MMORPGs is coming our way, and it's questionable whether or not Allods Online's dated visuals and gameplay can really compete.
The questionable audience size is one thing, but whether or not gPotato can really manage a subscription service well is another, more worrying, thing entirely.
If you have had your fingers in the MMO scene over the past decade, chances are your instincts scream at you "NO, DON'T DO IT". Normally I would be inclined to agree, but the old gPotato is dead and rotting in its grave.
gPotato was sold to Webzen earlier this year after seeing massive losses in 2012. The publisher every free to play MMORPG player came to hate is dead. Webzen's business practices were a bit easier to swallow, and one can say they handled their games at least a little better than old gPot.
I'm inclined to say you are less likely to be ripped off now than you would have been if the subscription server was implemented a year ago. Take that as you will.
If you are interested in what the subscription server has to offer over the free to play server, check out the Roadmap Q&A on the official site. Taking the subscription route in Allods Online is the better option in every way, just don't expect stellar service with Webzen still being a Korean company.