Runes of Magic

Ulric | 5 October 2010 | Comments off

RUNES OF MAGIC LAUNCHES IN AUSTRALIA

Runes of Magic

No monthly subscriptions, free to download the game.

When I asked one of my guildies what his impression of Runes of Magic was, he said :
“This is my first, true “free to play” MMO, I have no experience with others. I must say that so far, RoM has been very enjoyable. RoM seems very much like WoW, yet with a little less “polish".”

Runes of magic does have a lot of features that we find in other well known mmo’s, but succeeds nonetheless in creating a unique game experience.
Before you create your character, you must decide if you are going to play on a pve or pvp server.

Players can choose between two different playable races, Elves and Humans.There are eight classes, you choose one as your primary and at level 10 another one as your secondary.

Skills can be leveled by using the talent points that you receive when you level and when you fight monsters and also by completing quests.

Once you reach level 10,you get a penalty for dying. A little skull on the UI displays how much Death debt you have. In other words how much exp debt and talent point debt you have to get rid of by fighting monsters.

Players get 120 storage slots from their house, chest and bank. That is a lot, but you will need enough space to store your drops, materials and runes.

The item shop has more storage slots for sale, if you are willing to pay for it with real money. Here you can also buy things like mounts and upgrading materials. Mounts can be bought on a permanent base or for 30 days.

The game can be played entirely free, but for those players who like to make life in game easier by buying these luxurious items in the shop it is good to know that there are daily specials on items, as well as regular ‘double diamonds weekends’ which make them fairly cheap. Players buy these “diamonds” on the official site with real money. After purchase they can use these as currency to buy items in the item shop.

I will try to give you a more detailed look now on runes of Magic and our TOG guild.

A closer look at some of the RoM features

Quests and bosses

There is a vast variety of quests in Runes of Magic.Missions will involve killing mobs, gathering certain items, exploring sites and finding people. You can use the very handy option to set a way-point or auto-move toward a certain NPC.

Quests are the main way to advance in this game as grinding is not a viable option to level. Many quests can be done solo, but there are a bunch of harder quests that require a few sturdy companions. The first quests will explain all the major features of the game, including gathering and housing.

Daily quests can be completed 10 times in a period of 24 hours. These are very rewarding quests that allow you to level in a fast pace. You can make a stock of daily quest items in advance if you like. These quests give you more then fast exp, you also get tokens. Saving up your tokens will allow you to use the Arcane Transmutator, the device used to upgrade your equipment.

In order to level their second class faster, players take on a series of high-level quests on their primary class and switch over to their secondary class to turn in the quests after completing them.

Bosses in Runes of Magic are smart. The standard “tank and heal” combination doesn’t always work. If the boss finds that he is getting hurt more by the scouts, rogues and mages, it switches targets and goes for them instead of the tank. If the boss discovers that the priest is a greater threat for healing everybody, it will go after the him. The environment plays a role in boss raids too. Falling rocks, electricity on the floor, fire, lava surrounding you are things you must avoid with your party, while fighting the boss.

Secondary class

When you reach level 10 you may choose a secondary class for your character.
The skills of each class are divided into class specific skills and primary skills. At any time when you have chosen a secondary class, you’re able to use the primary skills from your secondary class.

Because of the game’s unique dual class system, there’s a total of 30 possible class combinations. Later in the game you will have the possibility to learn skills called elite skills”. These are unique skills to the class combination you have.

This adds another layer of depth to how your character performs compared to your fellow players and their class combinations. Some combinations of classes may seem more appealing than others, but generally they’re more or less equal in power. It all comes down to how you play your character and how you use the skills that are available to your character.

Arcane Transmutator

Armor and weapons can be upgraded by using the Arcane Transmutor, you unlock this feature as early as level 10. It is possible to take the status bonus from a piece of equipment or a weapon, and use a combination of those bonuses, if they are of the same tier, to put them on the equipment of your choice. This seems complicated at first, but with some practice it allows you to make superb end level equipment.
Runes, needed for improving equipment, can be transmuted in several ways. You can combine runes, and upgrade them.
Five identical runes, for example, can form a higher tiered and more powerful version of that same rune.
Players can experiment by combining runes with different attributes to create their ideal rune.
Using the Arcane Transmutor does cost Transmutor Charges, A reward from daily quests can be traded in for charges, or the more impatient players can purchase charges in the item shop.

Crafting

A benefit of crafting your own gear on RoM is that crafted equipment is more likely to have extra rune slots. Cooking and alchemy can be very useful because the food and potions provide you with extra buffs. But before you can think about crafting something you have to get the right materials, and for that you will need to gather materials.

Players can accept gathering professions in the starting areas. There are three gathering professions in Runes of Magic. Mining will have the character picking ore out of nodes, Woodcutting will have the player chopping wood off stumps, and Herbalism will let you pick up herbs from mounds.

Later on, the professions of carpenter, blacksmith, armor crafting, alchemist, tailor and even cook are available.
Crafters can also build their workshop in their own home or in the guild castle.

While a player is able to learn all of the professions, whether they are gathering or crafting, he is unable to max out all of them. He can reach one master level skill. Altogether, there are four ranks to master: apprentice, craftsman, specialist and master.

The Auction House

The auction house is located in Varanas. Players can use this feature to buy and sell rare items in an easy way. If you want to buy something, you can enter what you are looking for specifically and search that way, or if you prefer to browse, you can just pick a category and start looking.

The best place to supply yourself with cheap resources is the auction house. This is an ideal solution for the players who don’t like to spend a lot of time gathering materials or farming proofs for the daily quests. And for other players selling materials is a good way to make some money.

Housing

In RoM, the housing system is in full swing and has a few added extras. A house is not only a place for your character to rest, it is also a place where you can store your loots and items. What’s more is that you can decorate your house to your liking by purchasing furniture.

The furniture is not only for aesthetics, some furniture offers experience boosts for your character. This way you can gain exp when your character is offline.

Every personal house has a house number. Same with the character name, each house number is different. Friends in the game can visit your house if they know your house number.

All the characters in one account can share this house. All the items stored in the house can be used by all the characters who share the house. This greatly simplifies the trading procedures of characters in the same account.

Those among us who have green fingers will be pleased to hear that you can also grow plants in your house. And we are not talking about the illegal kind here, these plants give you materials to harvest once they are fully grown. It takes a plant about 36 hours to grow and be ready for harvesting. You will however have to nurture your seedlings regularly, even if it means getting up in the middle of the night to feed them.

The new pet system

Another nice new feature is the pet system. Pets on Runes give the players a status bonus, which increases when you level the pet by feeding it and by melding it with other pets. If you take good care of your pet and give him lots of treats he will even fight at your side.

You can obtain pets when you are killing monsters. There is always the chance that a cavy will spawn when a mob dies. This cavy needs to be captured in order to obtain one of the pet eggs that is carried by the animal.

They also considered the new players, because you get a free pet from level 1 till 30. This beginners pet even heals you sometimes when you are in danger and face death.

Player versus player

When you play on a PVP server, you are open to all attacks when you reach level 15 after finishing a quest. PVP doesn’t stay limited to your own server. The cross server PVP option allows players to enter battlefields and challenge players from other servers.

On the PVE servers, pvp play is limited to flagged dueling. You can’t attack innocent players unless you tag yourself as a player killer first. Killing random people for fun will tag you as a criminal, and players killing criminals in turn will be tagged as hunters”.

A reputation mechanic will give you either positive or negative reputation, reflecting the amount of good or evil in your character. Either way you go will give you bonuses – for example evil characters will get a damage increase bonus while good characters will get an increase in the amount of damage their character can withstand.

There are also special items that can only be bought when you reach a certain reputation, and the risk of dropping items will also change depending on your reputation. As a general rule, evil characters drop items more easily upon death, but earn more talent points from battles while good characters drop items more easily when dying at the hands of evil characters only.

Characters with a negative reputation will be attacked by town guards, but those players can redeem their reputation if they get killed by other players.

New exciting guild pvp feature : Siege Wars

With this update the time has come for guilds to do more with their castle then expanding it with buildings. Building siege weapons such as catapults, rams and arrow throwers will now be in order. Yes, we are going to war !

If we want to beat the opposing guild within their own four walls we will have to do this strategically. Slaughtering all guild members of the other guild isn’t going to do the job.

We will have to have the resources that are necessary for the construction of battle weapons and towers. And therefore we must capture energy nodes on the battlefield.

If a guild is capable of breaking through the opponents’ castle walls and get all the way to the Throne room, they will only have one obstacle left in the way to victory. In that very room an energy crystal is lodged, which the attackers must acquire.

When all of the opponents’ crystals and their nodes have been captured victory is at hand.
The winners will get special rewards and titles.

Upcoming Facebook game : “Runes of Magic : The challenge”

Frogster is the first game company to develop a social game based on a mmo for casual gamers in a social network. The audience of Runes of Magic will expand through this additional game playing.

While playing in this rich fantasy universe, players will gain special cards with key codes. They will be able to use these to unlock extra rewards in the full client version of Runes of Magic.

The challenge will appeal to new and old players alike, whether they play the full client version or not. Frogster’s first social game will be launched soon in Europe and America.

Frogster will also implement an application that will allow you to find co-players of the virtual world on facebook on the official website of Runes of Magic.

TOG on Runes of Magic

When HenriDeacon and I started playing RoM almost a year ago, we had no idea what to expect. Henri liked the ability to just ‘jump in and play’ RoM without needing to know a great deal about MMO’s, and I loved discovering MMO’s all over again in his company.

More toggers became interested in RoM. We made an informal guild called “Elderguard”, and later on we fused both this guild and “Bikkiz”, the guild that was created by Bikkies and Kiz, two toggers who had been playing Runes for a while.

From the beginning there was a good group atmosphere. Players help each other out when needed, by helping out with quests and crafting for other guild members. We also will be planning regular instance runs with the guild and raid nights.

Everyone has put in some work in order to level the guild. To level a guild on this mmo, players need to donate materials such as herbs, wood and ore. After gathering one can contribute directly to the guild by opening the guild window and clicking the guild tab. An amount of gold also has to be contributed. Once the next level is reached, the guild master chooses to raise the guild’s level.
The guild castle area is instanced, and upgrading the castle is possible by donating resources. One of the interesting features of the guild castle is that players can reduce the XP debt they have when they have died by studying in the guild castle’s library.

When I asked my guild mates what attracts them most on this mmo they answered :

- the ability to obtain a piece of armor or a weapon and upgrade it so it remains functional as you continue to level.
- it’s free to play
- players get totally immersed in the game
- the game has a good trading and auction system
- to have two vastly different play styles on one character and to have them interacting is fantastic !

I also asked them which parts of the game needed to be improved :

- patching the game takes way too long
- if we purchase “diamonds” for buying in the item shop, they are linked to one server
- the use of the Arcane Transmutator is very poorly explained
- not being able to change servers is a bit of a pain

We would like to invite all TOG members to come and try out this outstanding free
to play MMO. This game has something for everyone, experienced MMO players and newcomers alike.
We have been playing on the US PVE server Govinda so far.

New Australian servers open on October 6th

We were excited when we heard about the opening of the new Australian servers on October 6th . Players outside this region are welcome to join the fun, but Australians are on the top. This will make high pings and lags a thing of the past for the Australian Runes community, which is something that is rarely seen in mmo’s and especially when it comes to free mmo’s.
Paul Olsen, Studiohead of N3V games, the partner of Frogster Oceanic, explained that they are thrilled to give Australia and New Zealand the chance to play on the only locally hosted and run servers for a major MMO on Australia. Their goal is to give their players the same great experience that everyone overseas is offered.

We hope that a lot of Oceanic tog players will register , so we can let them see why Runes is such a great success around the globe.

We are considering making a PVP guild in the future and organizing at least one evening of raiding and PVP on this new server, if there is enough interest for this.

Feel free to visit the Runes of Magic forum for more information and to ask us your questions about the game.

_____________________________

About free to play games in general

The number of free to play MMORPG has risen enormously during the last years, and believe me, most of these games are of good quality and are worth taking a closer look at. When ten years ago I would have heard of a free game that had been developed on a large budget, I would have thought this referred to an illegal version.

These days however F2P games have their place among the variety of online games. Free mmo’s aren’t being released for charity. Western developers have followed in the footsteps of the Koreans, who have been making a lot of money through microtransactions. . The successful trend of micro-transaction supported games allows players to use real world money to buy themselves special items that give them certain advantages in the game.

The main concern is not to bring an online game out of balance by offering these transactions. It gives people an advantage over players who don’t make use of these special items, this can be a big issue in PVP battles for example.

We do see however that in a large amount of these games the only advantage of buying in the item shop, is to get a nicer looking pet or outfit for your character.

And we have to keep in mind that the money for the further development of free games also comes from the profit made out of microtransactions.

Western developers have added their own accent while developing free mmo’s. More attention has been brought to the storyline and content of the games. Players do get bored if the only thing that keeps them occupied in a F2P is to grind for hours with a bowl of noodles at hand. This was often the case in the old school Korean free mmo’s.

To my surprise I didn’t find a lot of free MMO players when I became a TOG member. I started to miss these games, after having tried several subscription based MMO’s. So I tried to make a few friends in TOG warm for the idea of testing out a part of the F2P world.

Here are some of their reactions :

HENRIDEACON - I’m very impressed with the amount of content available, plus the huge player community involvement. The amount of detail and quality gameplay which has been put into the new generation of free games puts them right up there with subscription based MMO’s.

TILCE - My overall feeling is that F2P mmo’s are on par with your subscription and/or buy and play games. Content is regularly upgraded.

JIMMYWRANGLES- My general opinion on free MMO’s is that they are outstanding.

MONTY - Other than Guild Wars and before I tried Runes of Magic, I wasn’t too impressed. This was mainly because the FTP games wouldn’t run at wide screen so looked rubbish on my monitor.

KRAMESOR - Great concept allowing the player to play and to enjoy the game without any costs upfront, if the player really likes the game he has the ability to take it more seriously. He or she can purchase items for himself to make his/her experience more suited to their playing style or just to increase the fun factor.

Poll: How much time do you game each week?

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