Today I downloaded the trial for Alganon. I have heard some really bad things about it but decided to give it a try and see if it offered anything to the genre. Rather than do a normal impressions post, I am going to compare Alganon to Allods and see how that turns out.
Both Allods and Alganon can be termed “WoW-clones”, at least at first glance. Both use the tried and true quest leveling system, similar U.I.s and the standard “holy-trinity” of Dps, tank, healer. Do either of them offer anything new at all?
Alganon’s character creation is identical to WoW and when I say identical, I mean identical. Take a look:
Now, take a look at the WoW creation screen:
Notice anything similar? Maybe exactly alike? All information is presented in the exact same sequence. Faction, race and class on the right, all other stuff on the left. Alganon has a family choice, which seems to have no effect on game play that I could tell.
Now, here is Allods Online:
All the same information is displayed but there is a big difference in the way it is presented. Allods Online has a different presentation from WoW, while Alganon just looks like a cheap rip-off.
Alganon has two races, which compromise two factions, so not many choices there. Alganon also has very standard classes, with four choices; soldier, ranger, healer and magus. Again, not much to choose from in the game. Allods, by comparison, offers 6 races, compromising 2 factions and allows for eight different class options. Quite a bit more variety in Allods Online.
Once you actually get into the game, Alganon continues with the WoW imitation. Take a look at the U.I.:
Ok, this is bordering on plagiarism. The U.I. is identical. Look at the training U.I., it is exactly like WoW. Identical. The other thing that gives me a chuckle is the fact that Alganon uses an Arial font for everything. What?!? They couldn’t even be bothered to be a little bit creative with the font? This is lazy design at its worst.
Take a look at Allods Online:
Now, the U.I. is my least favorite part of Allods Online right now, it needs some work. But, it still out does Alganon because it is not 100% recycled from WoW. It has all the pertinent information but presents it in an interface that looks different. Can you say creativity? Quest Online (Alganon’s creator) obviously can not.
Graphically it is night and day. Alganon has horrible, horrible character graphics and animations. The textures are fuzzy and the game looks just plain bad. Allods Online, while not a graphical powerhouse like Age of Conan, looks really good. Animations are really well done and the textures look good up close or from afar. The discrepancy is impossible to ignore. Alganon looks worse than WoW, while Allods looks like a crisper, sharper version of WoW. All three use a similar artistic style but Alganon does a very poor imitation. You can certainly see the lack of creativity of Quest Online as they recycle the old WoW style, while Astrum Nival (Allods Online devs) take that artistic style and make it their own.
So, do either offer anything beyond a “WoW-clone” experience?
Alganon has a tacked on off-line study system that allows you to learn skills while logged off but that is about it from what I can tell. Nothing else separates the two and the study system does not seem well implemented anyway. Other than that, I can see nothing that would make anyone want to play Alganon over WoW. It is simply a rough, buggy and terribly implemented version of WoW.
Allods Online, on the other hand, has game play similar to WoW. The normal quests, instances and rep grinds exist in Allods that are in WoW but at the end Allods offers Astral ships and more World PvP. Astral ships separate Allods from WoW and every other MMO out there. It seems to be completely new for the genre. In addition, everything in Allods seems well implemented and well done.
The funny thing is Alganon costs $50 and requires a $15 monthly fee, whereas Allods Online is free to play. If you loaded up both these games and played each for a couple of hours you would think the opposite. Alganon is so bad, so underwhelming and so bad in its implementation, you think it should be free to play.
By the way, if I were Blizzard I would seriously consider a copyright lawsuit. I have never seen a game that so totally rips off content from another like this, art assets are taken verbatim from WoW. It is a sad thing to see.