Allods Online’s Astral is a giant abyss that has expanded its content over time to make exploration endless for adventurers that constantly seek treasure and new expeditions. While tweaks have been made to make the Astral’s introduction more player friendly for newcomers, there is still a lot of information to absorb before one is deserving of a ship driver’s license and can become a full-fledged captain.
The Path to Victory will expand its reach of Astral activities but most importantly, establish a tutorial system that gives new cadets some field training on the first steps to forming Astral parties with a push in the right direction. All this extra training will help new players progress faster to get on the same pace as the veterans!
After unlocking access to the Unexplored Astral from completing quests in Irdrich, you will be directed to the new Astral Academy. The Astral Academy is a new zone that is accessed the same way that one would enter the Astral hangar before, from Lightwood and Nezebgrad Port. The Astral Academy has everything you need for your Astral travels – Mercenaries, Postal Worker, Anvil of Artifacts, Portal Keeper and Open Piers (covered later in this preview). You can also access the Astral Hangar as you normally would from the Astral Academy.
Looking for a balanced group can be tasking for new players that step foot in the Astral for the first time. Fortunately there will be new quests in the Astral Academy that are available through the Mercenary Leader to help get you started in the Astral with ready-to-fight groups. These groups will consist of other players and/or mercenaries.
It is still possible to form groups by yelling one’s lungs out over zone chat although you will miss out on amazing benefits by not forming a group through the Astral Academy!
• Mercenaries to fill party slots are available for free
• All looted gear will be of rare quality
• Double the amount of looted gear than conventional sectors
• Treasure chests can be opened on the spot
• Players can only be kicked from the group through unanimous vote
Please know the beginner quest benefits will apply to the first 20 allods to give you a head start before advancing to the next stage of the Astral. Make sure you have Astral Keys handy!
Joining a party is an easy process although there are some slight differences that you should be aware of when doing so at the Astral Academy.
• First, talk to the Mercenary Leader at the Astral Academy and accept the beginner quest
• Select which role you want to fulfill – tank, medic, fighter. Keep in mind you will only be able to select a role that is suitable for your archetype. This means you won’t be able to be a warrior that is the team’s dedicated medic!
• You will receive a “Waiting” buff that will automatically form the party every half hour on the hour (i.e. 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, etc.). The system will see which role that players have signed up for and will form players together in parties every half hour. Any gaps in group roles will be filled with mercenaries that will join you without paying the mercenary fee.
• Make sure you do not leave the Astral Academy once you have signed up for a group role or you will lose the “Waiting” buff. However, you can always re-visit the Mercenary Leader and sign up for an Astral party before groups are automatically formed every half hour.
• At the half hour, you will be teleported to an Astral allod in the Unexplored Astral along with your party on one of the mercenaries’ ships.
After completing the beginner quest’s 20 Astral allod requirement, you will advance to the Unexplored Stormy Astral to practice seeking out specific equipment, and manually fly to the allod in the appropriate sector.
Similar mechanics will apply during the beginner quest although you will also need to choose which equipment you want. This will add another element that the Auto Group Finder needs to process in order to pair up players that seek the same type of equipment. Also as a bonus, usage of the Astrolabe will not consume any teleport charges for the first allod each time the Auto Group Finder feature is used.
Even if you are not completely new to the Astral, there will still be global changes that will benefit all Astral travelers!
• Astral Maps will unlock Unexplored Astral sectors at an increased rate
• Unexplored Astral will now start with 14 sectors unlocked instead of 3 sectors. Additionally, Mysterious Astral will start with 10 sectors unlocked
All of these changes are designed to help players get acquainted with the Astral and help them get up to speed. Before we know it, all our up-and-coming recruits will be soaring up the path to victory!
Another phenomenal feature that will expand Astral content to new heights is the introduction of open piers! There will be five open piers per faction, where special captains can dock their ship at the Astral Academy for everyone to admire!
There are some unique perks to having one’s Astral ship docked at one of the open piers:
• Voyages – Tour select zones from the comfort of your ship while gazing at the wonders of Sarnaut. Be sure to wave at all the players below as they wave back at you!
• Public Tags – Your Astral ship will be tagged with your character’s name and guild name so everyone will know who that glamorous ship belongs to!
• Free Repairs – The ship will be fully repaired every time the ship is summoned to the pier!
• Summon Group – With a push of a button, teleport your group instantly to your ship so you can start your travels swiftly!
• 24/7 Security – Your ship will remain docked on the pier even when you are offline. Watchman patrol and guard your ship with no breaks. Talk about quality service!
With all the great benefits that come from having an open pier, one has to first bid and win the auction in order to gain access to one of the five open piers.
Bidding takes place at the same auction house used to bid on your essential items. Once bidding ends, the five winners will enjoy open pier benefits until the rest of the month. Once the bidding process has been completed, the open pier passes will be mailed to the winning character’s mailbox where they can activate the pass to gain access to the open pier.
With so many changes coming to enhance your Astral experience, expect to see the Astral bustle with a fleet of ships to infinity and beyond! Stay tuned for more exciting features to come with the Path to Victory!