I know the bad rep that Allod's Online has. Please no trolling, or bashing.
-I heard all the rumors of it being Pay2Win, and yes, this used to be true. No longer. The cash shop now works more akin to League of Legends cash shop. You can either "grind" (PLAY!) for in-game gold, or go the casual way and pay for Potatoes (think Riot Points.) You can't outright buy gold. HOWEVER, you cannot buy gear, or make your character inherently more powerful than a player who decides to not use the cash shop. They abandoned this philosophy. You can even earn crystals from events now to trade for items in the cash shop! Events are world events and free and available to all Allod's players.
-I went into the game with the same beliefs as everyone; believing it to be a pay2win game that I had no hope in. I was pleasantly proven wrong. Playing the game as it's meant to be played reaps you 99% of the content (outside of bank/bag space,) the cash shop is just there for players who want to zoom to level cap and trick out their character aesthetically, not stat/gear wise (it's just not possible through the cash shop anymore.)
Players can no longer "pay2win", the only purchasable advantage is leveling XP/Skill up boosts to level your character or a profession. All this can be achieved the classic way through gameplay, however. At the end of the day it all comes down to gearing your character to the relative tier cap and every player has to take the same route for that.
I've got a little experience under my belt and after talking to level capped players this is what I learned:
There are three things after playing awhile you MAY find yourself wanting to buy. This being mounts, bank space, and costumes (plus vanity items.)
-Buying mounts is almost akin to LoL's skin/champ buying system. You don't necessarily need to buy them as you can get temporary ones at random times through bags (each level you are sent a bag,) or get a permanent mount from an event (for example it's Halloween themed event right now) and never pay a dime. These event mounts are sent to any player who logs in during an event and is permanent.
-Like Guild Wars 2, bag/bank space has to be purchased (as far as my knowledge goes) but if you manage the space that you have by default, it's not too difficult to progress with the limited space before wanting to purchase (I have yet to spend any real $.) THIS MAY BE the only thing you will spend money on (I'm unsure if any bosses or events give out bags - I'm sure they do and so the limited capacity may only be relative to banks.)
-There are many costumes available through events and the cash shop that are available to your specific class. How these work is that they "mask" your stat based gear and give your character a unique themed out look. Kind of like transmorging, but pre-made and unique.
These are just the big 3.
-It used to be that you had to buy your runes if you wanted an edge, but they have abandoned this. You can now buy runes with in-game gold that you earn through playing, and they work as a gold sink (they're sort of like gems/glyphs.)
If you have found yourself using real money to purchase things in GW2, WoW, and especially LoL, you'll probably eventually find yourself spending $10 here or there while playing Allod's. But it isn't forced upon you. I've yet to do so and am completely content and do not feel hindered.
Players that choose to pay are only benefited in the following ways:
Quicker access to runes (instead of earning in-game gold to buy them), a larger quest log, experience boosts (a buff that works like looms or the xp buffs you get in WoW... all players get this buff randomly though when playing as they are randomly sent (not always) in the chest you receive at each level up), bag/bank space, costumes, pets, vanity items such as swapping a spell from a different class into your spell set (have to be the same archetype, though), and profession skill up boosts. The cash system works like Riot Points, in Allod's they're called Potato coins. There is no subscription based payments. Things like buffs to xp, learning crafting point xp boosts, and some other vanity items have limited duration, they expire.
Also, during in-game events you can earn crystals that you can trade in for items in the item shop, bypassing the need to spend $ for items in the shop. However, events are not always happening.
Now that the cash shopped has been addressed, let's talk the game itself.
Allod's is GORGEOUS.
Awesome art style, and character models, and world environments. Seriously. Extremely detailed. I love love the look of this game. It's majestic, mature, and has a great tone. I know people initially feel it's a WoW clone (style wise) but after spending hours in the game you really begin to identify it's uniqueness art wise. Especially after being in the game for a week straight and then popping into WoW. Stark difference. Just check out these screenies taken by players here: http://allods.wikia.com/wiki/Special:NewFiles
A great showcase video: http://youtu.be/8FdPykmWwZs
There are 2 factions:
The League and Empire, and 9 archetypes (classes.) (Each race has a different class name/style for each archetype, though mechanically they're the same... e.g. a Kanian Druid is the same thing as an Orc Shaman, both being under the archetype of Warden, but they have different aesthetics and spell names/graphics.)
There are multiple professions.
There is end-game, and PvP.
Allod's is geared more towards the Hardcore player, moreso than the Casual.
The only way it's poised towards casuals is through the cash shop, though not pay2win because:
players can earn anything in the cash shop through actually investing time in gameplay, and it doesn't take very long (i.e. it's not a drawn out grindfest.) There are raids, and outdoor raid bosses as well. You are able to "solo" PvE dungeons by recruiting mercenaries, or you can always just find a group.
-Guilds are able to construct astral ships and commence in Guild vs. Guild PvP battles, a lot of the time spontaneously:
They traverse the astral and explore the world of Allod's. As a guild member you can help maintain, upgrade, partake in PvP, and have unique crew roles for the ship that your guild owns. It's really rewarding and immerses you into the world. Not to mention bringing the guild together. http://allods.wikia.com/wiki/Astral_Ships
Astral Ship PvP battle (guild vs. guild battles) http://youtu.be/3LjrKFr7DRo | http://youtu.be/_k5pi3mrEIc
Each town / major settlement has a portal:
That will portal you to any city/town/settlement. (Much like flightpaths, but instant.)
There are PvP contested zones and Empire and or League dedicated zones (just like in WoW.) (PvE servers do exist)
Allod's is based on an established Russian RPG franchise,
titled Rage of Mages. Look into these if you'd like to get into the lore of Allod's before jumping into the MMO. They're older games, but still pretty fun.
I'll answer any questions you guys may have. If you feel burned out with WoW, GW2, or any other P2P or P2B MMO's, give Allod's a try. I really, really recommend it. I've only listed things that I enjoy about the game, as there is much more to do than I have mentioned here.
I am level 21 (cap is 51), on the League side, and on the server Avilon. My name is Rexxarr.
I've only touched on the basics, explore the Wiki for more in depth info:
http://allods-wiki.gpotato.com/index.php/Main_Page (Official Wiki)
Great unbiased review: http://youtu.be/yiU0uifAkJI