07 - Behind the scenes: Goblinoball

The Breaking of the Orcs



To understand the origins of Goblinoball, one has to look at the history of the Orcs; a strong, aggressive and rude race. They are not gifted with the ability to understand magic and they do not count any Great Mage among their kin. Their repeated attempts to understand the intricacies of magic have failed time and time again. These circumstances led to the ruthless and willful race having a somewhat unique fate compared to the others that inhabit the allods.


During the Great Cataclysm, the world of Sarnaut was shattered into thousands of pieces. Lacking a Great Mage, no one among their population was able to protect them from the dangers posed by the Astral. All large allods survived due to the intervention and power of the Great Mages. The Orcs were left with little choice but to sign an agreement with Nezeb, the authoritarian sovereign of the Xadaganian people, to save their race from destruction.


The far-sighted Xadaganian leader suggested a mutually beneficial arrangement, where he would provide magical protection to their lands in exchange for their allegiance and access to their physical strength. In exchange for an army of fighters, he provided them with a Great Mage. This is how the Orc race became a part of the Empire.


While being willing members of the Empire, Orcs are somewhat autonomous, and their feelings of gratitude and respect for their new leader are due to necessity rather than any underlying loyalty. They treat the Empire as they would treat a mother-in-law that they didn't like, respecting its strength and magical prowess, but not much else. Orcs are the most aggressive and stubborn race that inhabit Sarnaut, mainly inhabiting the hostile steppes with their Goblin slaves, where other races are unable to survive.


News Allods Fun art Orc


They are a freedom-loving race, who desire complete independence but are not accustomed to the world of political intrigue. They have a simple philosophy: they like to show off their raw strength and are happy to get involved in fisticuffs whenever the situation arises. This attitude can be summed up in a simple rule: "Might makes right". Unlike other races, their society is structured in a way that the strongest or most powerful shaman rules the tribe and hosts meetings when anything affecting the tribe needs to be discussed. Decisions are made when those who want to participate fight each other, and everyone must accept the will of the winning party. Both genders prefer to show off their strength and prowess through fighting and testing each other, as opposed to having much experience in romantic areas of their life.




Female Orcs are a "Jolie"


Even though the Orcs that inhabit the world of Sarnaut are rough and brutal, they love showmanship. Just check some of the concept-art. The prototype for the female Orc was Angelina Jolie. She was an inspiration to the artist on Astrum Nival's development team working on the visual aspects of female Orcs. Look closely at the portrait and you'll see.


News Allods Orcess Jolie




Russian Orcs


Many games feature Orcs, as they are an established, classic, and wide-spread race. Many ideas stem from the Orcs of the Warhammer (table-top and MMO) world, or even the Lord of the Rings series of books, films and games. It would be strange to encounter any tiny, cute Orcs in Allods Online. They wouldn't have survived.


When the developers of Allods Online were creating the Orcs to inhabit the shattered world of Sarnaut, they knew they had to find the right balance between following tradition, but also make them a genuine, unique, and individual race surviving on the allods. Each race has their own style which encompasses not only their appearance, but the ideology of their culture through the buildings they live in. The Xadaganians are an urban, industrial race, while the Kanians prefer to live in communities scattered throughout their lands.


News Allods Orc and Kanians


These differing styles also carry a subtle Russian feeling. The construction of the Moscow State University - Dneprogas and the Imperial style of Stalin's era are attributes of Russia, but they are also far removed from the birch forests and churches.


The Orc race is just one example of this unique style. They are neither an industrial nor ecclesiastical culture, like their human counterparts the Kanians and Xadaganians. They come from the hostile steppes where others would simply not survive... And they have their own national sport - Goblinoball.




Sport is Life


News Allods Stadium


The obvious prototype of Goblinoball is football, kicking a ball against a team of opposing players with the aim of scoring a goal in a net. Orcs are more similar to football fans though, than professional football players. Like any sports fans across Europe or Russia, they have space to play, the proper equipment, and the desire to compete against each other. Goblinoball players and fans shout, wear facial tattoos to show their allegiance to their local team, they even have a special Orc hymn dedicated to the sport. This dedication means they have no time for culture or religion in their lives. They like two things. Fighting and Goblinoball; The sport that unites their race in the absence of any coherent government or grand plan.


The name Goblinoball consists of two words, just like football. The obvious picture is correct; Orcs use goblins as a ball. If you have read up on the introduction to the Orc race, they view Goblins as beneath them. Goblins are round, elastic, and small enough to be a ball. Watching Goblins getting kicked around the place for entertainment keeps the fans riveted.


News Allods Goblin ball


Like many things in Orcish culture, the rules are simple and easy. Turn up, face another team and try and humiliate them in front of their fans. All the Orc tribes have their own Goblinoball team, which they enter into regular competitions for a chance to reach the Goblinoball Championship.


Without formal legal or judicial systems in place, the Orcs have chosen to settle their differences through sport on the Goblinoball field. The best teams become idols to their own tribes, as well as stars to the broader Orc population. Regular championships take place, ensuring that tribes are regularly socializing and interacting with each other, and top teams participate in serious competitions to earn kudos for their tribes... then there's the fighting that occurs on and off the pitch, a bonus in every Orc's opinion.




Orcs are no Hooligans..... cough


Undoubtedly, Orcs are physically perfect for this kind of sport. It is so important to them that many sports teams have their own scars, colours and tattoos, about the only thing that can get a female Orcs attention. The game is so simple, and Goblins so plentiful, that the sport is available to every member of Orc society and even sometimes participating teams from other races. The game has no strict rules, but the Goblinoball Stadium is located on a contested allod known across the allods as "Competition Island". When you get in game, it's situated rather far from your starting point, so you'll need to bulk up before trying to take on established players.


News Allods Goblinoball


Each team has up to six players; one is the goalkeeper, with specific abilities. Two teams face each other with a ball, a Goblin, in the centre. They then split into backs and forwards, with the main objective to kick the goblin into their opponent's goal, while defending their own net. Players can also learn about the intricacies of the sport by completing quests on the way to Competition Island.




Participate or Spectator


Goblinoball is set up as a type of PvP in Allods Online. It relies heavily on team co-operation and has been made to be entertaining for players. Regardless of what race you are, you can fight your enemies in Astral battles or participate in ground-based PvP. However, Goblinoball has a much looser dynamic, allowing players to pick up an easy pastime to relax, socialize and compete with other players. For Astral crews, it also serves to build teamwork and team spirit, as a skillful Goblinoball team is likely to also be good at Astral combat with the co-ordination they bring into a battle.


News Allods tribunes


Losing a Goblinoball match will not give players penalties or consequences. Winners play only for their own pride and respect from other players. For those who just want to kick back and watch, just pick your spot in the stands and cheer your team on. In keeping with the sport, language in this area is allowed to be a bit cruder, as long as it keeps within the charter rules of Allods Online, and the referee or opposing team do not mind. At this point, the crowd cannot do ‘The Wave', but it has been thought about and may appear later with future content.


Goblinoball can be played over and over again as long as there are two opposite teams in the stadium. Recruiting other players for a Goblinoball team is as easy as creating a party in the main game world. There are no specific requirements to enter the stadium, so that every player has the opportunity to join in as long as they get their character to the stadium and are from the same faction per team.


The Orcs will also have a sporting chant, just like any other sport. It will be based on Orc culture, and once the lyrics and score are completed, it should be integrated into the game. It is currently being composed by a Russian punk-rock band.