Following is a criticism of the PvP in Allods Online. If you like the PvP there, this post is not for you.
The PvP beast began to rear its ugly head around level 17-18 in Allods, because that's when I encountered the first questing zone that forces the player's PvP flag to be on all the time -- The Frozen Frontier. It wasn't a problem most of the time, but then it started getting raided by groups of Empire players whose levels show only as ?? to me, which means they're at least 10 levels higher. Possibly even max level (40). So they kill the portal keeper so you can't leave the zone, and all the quest NPCs in town, and of course all the poor lower-level players who stand no chance against them, and who didn't even want to fight, but were marked as targets anyway because it's a PvP zone. That is not a challenge, nor is it fun -- it's just bullying.
The next zone, Darkwater, was back to normal, with no forced PvP, which was a welcome reprieve, and it was a very nice zone to quest in, with lots of interesting stories and characters, including the famous Baba Yaga! But after I'd exhausted all the quests in Darkwater, it was on to Tenebra, where it was back to forced PvP all the time. Perhaps to prepare you for the ganking to come, Tenebra (derived from "tenebrae", meaning "shadow") has an additional gameplay mechanic that spawns vampires to attack you randomly whenever you acquire a debuff from venturing away from the areas lit with lamps. Finally, it was on to the very appropriately-named Holy Land, which is full of players killing other players nonstop.
I'd like to think this sort of behaviour would be frowned upon, but in fact the game encourages it, with quests and "combat glory" awarded to players for killing other players, and there's a special item that you can acquire in the game called a "war banner", which allows you to attack and kill players outside of PvP zones, who don't even have their PvP flag up!
Allods does not have a PvE-only server -- what some people disparagingly call a "care bear" server. If they had one, I would be on it, because I play games like this for the quests, the story, and combat with level-appropriate mobs. I like MMOs because of the social aspect, i.e. grouping up and doing quests together, helping people out, and chatting with friends and guild members.
At my level, these random player attacks are a serious interference with my playing of the game, causing me long wait times in Purgatory and longer wait times for the "fear of death" resurrection sickness to go away, plus the time it takes to get back to the place I was questing in, possibly also including time spent waiting for the player-killers to stop camping the area where I resurrect. Prepare to be staring at the giant guardian of the gates of Purgatory for quite a while.
Here, of course, we start to see possible reasons for the company to encourage this sort of thing -- there are items for purchase in the cash shop or for large amounts of in-game money which reduce the wait time in purgatory and remove the resurrection sickness.
So, there are several large zones for me to explore and quest in, but I can't take my time and enjoy the scenery anymore, and can't enjoy reading the quest text or consider which quest reward I want to pick because someone is likely to kill the questgiver and/or me while I'm reading. I find myself playing much less often, and mostly playing on lower-level alts. I've picked up other games in the meantime. Once you get to the Holy Land, it becomes a completely different game from the one I'd been playing for the last couple of months. It's a great, fun game until then. There's plenty of PvE content to explore and enjoy, the chat and guilds are lively, and the in-game economy is easy to play with (all my experience with making money in WoW translated perfectly to Allods). But as far as I'm concerned, once you're sent to the Holy Land, the game is over.
I'll be writing about a different game soon. There are several very interesting and fun ones that I've been getting into.