Spotlight On - Prius Online, Iris Online (updates), and Allods Online (Launch)
We take a look at a trio of free-to-play online games in the upcoming Prius Online (formerly known as Anima Online), along with the recently launched Iris and Allods.
Prius Online - Formerly known as Anima Online, this colorful free-to-play massively multiplayer game was originally launched in Asia in 2009; therefore, it benefits from two years' worth of stability patches and content updates. While Prius looks like the kind of colorful, 3D free-to-play game you'd expect to see imported from Asia, it actually distinguishes itself by focusing on story and characters, rather than hack-and-slash action. The game's key characters are the anima, a little girl character that joins you early in your adventure and stay by your side, and the giga, a massive giant pet with powerful combat abilities that you can summon in a pinch. Anima characters don't possess any direct combat abilities, but they have utility skills, such as casting protective buff spells on your main character, as well as gathering crafting resources or picking up loot while you're busy killing monsters. You'll earn a dozen slots for different gigas with different situational powers and abilities, and both types of characters will be customizable. In addition, your own main character can be customized by choosing an advanced job profession at level 25 and building out your own instanced player housing. This housing can be adorned not only with domestic decorations, such as your own personal garden, but also with records of your exploits and a showcase for your collected gigas. Prius' in-game cash op (where players can purchase in-game items with real money) will primarily consist of customization options for your character and your companions. Prius launches this May.
Iris Online - Iris Online is already up and running, but gPotato had the game's first major post-launch update on display. The new content will add four new zones, two new dungeons, and a new multiplayer mode that is reminiscent of the Horde mode from Gears of War. This will have three difficulty settings and a full set of stats to track, not unlike that of Halo or Call of Duty's online stat tracking of kills, deaths, and other key figures. One of Iris Online's most prominent game features is its great variety of rideable player mounts, and the update will add plenty of new critters and mechanical contraptions at the cash op to ride into battle. It'll also increase the game's level cap from level 60 to level 65 and add a massive new field boss monster for players to battle. In addition, it'll add new quests and a new character slot for the game's emblem items, which provide various bonuses for your character. The update will also add a much-requested chat filter to help filter out and blacklist players who back up the in-game chat with useless spam. The new update will launch in about six weeks.
Allods Online - Allods Online has already been in open beta for more than a year, but the game has finally had its official full launch. To commemorate the occasion, gPotato has made the game's much-sought-after charm items (which remove harmful debuff states that occur after your character dies and respawns) absolutely free, rather than costing money at the cash op. In addition, the development team is working on the game's new major update, known as patch 2.0, which will extend the game's level cap from 42 to 47. The new update will also add new spells and abilities to all character classes at lower levels to make each one more useful in a group. Higher-level characters can access two brand-new zones to get from 42 to 47, as well as play through a brand-new 24-character raid instance. The update will also streamline certain crafting and item-upgrade systems to remove required materials and extra steps to make the less tedious. The 2.0 patch is planned to launch later this spring.
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