gPotato Removes Death Penalty from Allods and Readies New Patch

The deserts of Kirah. Allods Online (gPotato)

Allods Online has had a shaky relationship with its fan-base since it entered open beta in February of 2010. On the one hand, Allods Online is a highly polished free-to-play MMORPG, with a great selection of quests, great artwork and setting, and satisfying character customization. On the other hand, Allods was designed around inconvenient gameplay penalties that pressure players to utilize the cash shop. It seems the community’s negative feedback on these practices has been heard, as gPotato has announced that the Holy Charm item required to prevent the unpopular death penalty is now completely free.

The mechanic in question is the infamous “Tep’s Curse,” which has a chance of cursing a player’s inventory slot – inverting the stats of the gear equipped in said slot – upon a player’s death. The Holy Charms that prevent this curse were acquired through the cash shop with real money – until now. Since the game was designed around this mechanic, the odds are that the curse wont be going away. However, gPotato can at least make the inconvenient penalty as painless as possible for its player-base, and making the Holy Charm free is a massive step in the right direction.

A new skin for the wolf mount. Allods Online (gPotato)

 

Allods Online is also readying itself for the next major update, Patch 2.0.02, which introduces all new gear and customization options, as well as a new playable zone.

As far as new vanity items being introduced with the patch, mounts are getting a total of fourteen new skins for players to acquire and enjoy. A marriage system is being introduced as well, which gives couples a unique set of skills to use and level up.

The zone to be included in the patch is the desert of “Kirah,” a level 42+ area. Players will warp back in time and uncover the mysteries (and history) of the allod. The zone offers all new daily events, as well as new enemies to engage.

Finally, the patch also introduces a new way to improve gear, called “Refining.” The process is limited to level 45+ gear of rare, epic, or legendary quality. The system requires two pieces of gear (one sacrificial, and the other which is to be refined)  as well as reagent materials to produce a refined piece of equipment.

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Tails from the heart

The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA) September 11, 2009 | Laurie Edwards “We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.” The opening line to Irving Townsend’s poem “Fragile Circle” relates the self-imposed pain pet owners inflict by taking in animals that have a life expectancy much shorter than their own. It’s a circle Bruce Coston not only lives in, but has worked in as a veterinarian for the past 21 years.

“My whole professional life is spent within that fragile circle,” said Coston. “My job, as I see it, is standing within that circle, trying to mend the fibers of that circle so people have more time with their pets.” A part-time lake resident since 2003, he has written a book to give readers a peek into the life of a veterinarian. “Ask the Animals,” released on Sept. 1, shares whimsical and tragic stories about life in the exam rooms and life at home with his own pets. web site how to get rid of fleas in your house

The book started as a column in the “Bryce Mountain Courier,” a small newspaper outside of Woodstock, where Coston has owned Seven Bends Veterinary Hospital since 1992.

“I was just writing how-to stories — how to prevent heartworm disease, how to get rid of fleas,” said Coston. “They were awful and there was just nothing to it.” Then one week, he found himself pressed against the deadline with no how-to ideas. So Coston did the only thing he could think of — he wrote a story about something that had happened at his practice.

The reader response was tremendous.

“Then I thought, that’s a whole lot easier,” said Coston. “Those things happen every day.” With no end to material, he related stories every month about veterinary life for about four years. Readers suggested he compile stories into a book.

“I took some time and expanded those stories,” said Coston. “It took about a year to do that.” Much of the stories were written on the porch of the Stripers Landing condominium Coston shares with wife Cynthia. Once complete, he started shopping around for a publisher. What followed was a series of false starts and 33 rejection letters.

Then two years ago, a chance meeting with another author opened the door and Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, purchased the manuscript.

But as editors are wont to do, they requested Coston rewrite some chapters. They also suggested he add more stories about himself. The stories follow Coston from a fresh-faced college student to a veteran of veterinary practice.

Amidst stories about the animals he treated at his office, the stories about his own pets include a squirrel he rehabilitated and released and the parakeet who hated it, a cat with a head injury abandoned at his practice and a dog who would break from his chains and travel about town.

These stories were added to breathe life into the veterinarian on the page and to make him relatable to the readers. Coston said there may have been too much of that, however. go to web site how to get rid of fleas in your house

” ‘Publishers Weekly’ just did a review and the only negative comment they made was too much about the vet, not enough about the pets,” said Coston. “I thought that was ironic.” “Ask the Animals” is available at major book stores and online. Coston said he’ll also distribute it to small shops around the lake.

Since their sons Jace and Tucker have started college, Coston and his wife spend about three weekends per month at the lake. But they’d like to spend more.

“I wouldn’t mind at all moving to the lake full time, practicing a few days a week in a local vet’s office and writing the rest of the time,” said Coston.

If “Ask the Animals” sells well, Coston said there’s no end to material he could use to compile another book. And knowing that there are countless pet owners out there who love animals as much as he does, Coston said he hopes that will be the case.

“I think that for pet lovers, this will really speak to them. This will really touch the place in their hearts where their pets live,” said Coston. “And those are the people I want to read the book.

“Those people who don’t have a place in their hearts for their pets, they’re not going to read the book, and if they do, they won’t get it.” For more information or for purchase locations, visit www.brucecoston.com.

LAURIE EDWARDS | Laker Weekly 721.4675 (ext. 406) Laurie Edwards