In the first part of this look at Allods Online, I wrote a small bit about the importance of story originality in MMORPGs. I briefly described the introductory episode for the Empire side of Allods Online, and how I think it has what it takes to capture our attention and keep us playing.
This second part will look at the League side and how players begin the game for that faction. As with the Empire beginning, I think it has just enough of those same quality story elements to hook a players' regard and have them wanting to continue playing.
After creating your League avatar (yes, they have elves - but with wings!), you enter the game in a much calmer environment than on Empire side. Standing in a round room in Clement's Tower, you notice Svetobor Ratnev off to the side near the hallway. When you approach him, he says that you're just in time to attend an audience with this allod's Great Mage, Clement de Desirae, but you'll need to hurry. He speeds off down the hallway, leading you into a larger round chamber where everyone else has already gathered for the speech.
Clement de Desirae stands on a dais in front of you, and begins eloquently speaking. Looking around the room, you take notice of the other races that make up the League, all dressed in fine raiment and listening attentively to Clement speak.
Suddenly, the space behind Clement grows dark, and from out of nowhere, a Shadow appears. With a ghastly growl, it strikes at Clement from behind, felling him with a single attack. An explosion of light knocks everyone off their feet, including you.
When you come to your senses, the room is in shambles, and almost everyone who was there is either now unconscious, or dead. The entire Tower is booming and shaking, pieces of the walls and ceiling crumbling down. The few remaining who are able to move, including Ratnev, dart up to the crumpled body of Clement and stare in disbelief.
Ratnev cries foul and wails in surprise and anger at what has just happened. He turns to you and tells you that the League officials must know of the assassination, and that it falls to you as your task to accomplish. He says there is a portal on the Tower's first floor that you must now get to, and quickly.
Together with those that remain, Ratnev leads you all in a race down the circling Tower staircase, losing two souls to falling debris along the way. The next room you come to, Ratnev explains, is one of Clement's laboratories, where he conducted experiments on rats. These rats are now on the loose, and must be dealt with before crossing the room on the way to the portal.
With everyone on the attack, the rats are dealt with handily. Ratnev hands you a piece of old armor he's found, saying you'll need all the help you can get. He's then distracted by a sound from a corridor, and exclaims that someone is still alive! Directing you to check on who it is and their condition, you find Buslai Hopelesaev on the ground and in pain at the end of the corridor next to a large door.
With gasping breaths, he tells you the bad news: the attack on the Tower has been brought about by treason! The Chief of the Guards, Kurbat Meshersky, is the one responsible for leading the rebels into the Tower. He goes on to say he was fighting them with his brother, Leshko, when they came here. Leshko entered the next room, another of Clement's experiment laboratories, in order to down the Mantikora that has been set loose. Hopelesaev asks you to go in and check on his brother, and if need be, slay the Mantikora.
Opening the door reveals a room full of cages housing a number of small beasts, but it's the large uncaged beast that commands your attention when he attacks. The Mantikora's huge claws slap and rake at you ferociously, but somehow you manage to survive. After the Mantikora falls, you have a moment to look sadly at the bodies of other League fellows, including Leshko, who were slain by the fanged beast. Another loud nearby rumbling snaps you back to the moment, and you hurry from the room and back to Hopelesaev.