I have started playing the Runes of Magic. I picked the game up with some serious reservations. First, I had a horrible burn out with Everquest II and thought surely I could not find enjoyment in a classic high-fantasy MMO. Secondly, I had played the game a couple of months ago and it could not keep my interest, although I didn’t really give it a shot either. And last, I have been a huge naysayer to FREE to play MMOs — thinking that they were nothing more than hang outs for children.
I have been pleasantly surprised this last week. I originally told myself that I would give Runes of Magic a full undivided attention for a month. I even resisted on writing anything about the game for a full week to really let the game sink in.
After a full week, I have two characters now that are just peeking into the teens. I have a Warrior/Mage and a Cleric/Scout. I of course dual box these two and have been enjoying my time in the game.
I must first detail that Runes of Magic is not real dual-box friendly and you need to find some macros to get the two to work together. There is also some nagging problems with the camera on the second account, often ending up pointing in the wrong direction or off on some weird angle — luckily, I don’t often use that monitor to fight with. I also want to empirically state that I am not botting. The term botting would indicate that I use the second box for no other reason than spam heal my first guy — I do not do this. I treat both characters as fully fleshed out avatars, both with the best gear, spells, and gathering skills. I truly treat each as a separate entity, and I play the two often solo when I just have a few moments.
With that said, I have been journeying around trying to figure the game out. It really reminds me of the early days of EQ in that there is very little information or knowledge that is on the net or even within the player base. This issue can be interesting at times when you look for some basic feature of the game and no one knows anything about it. For example, I cannot find any real information on “target by the camera” which is a basic option in the setup? I am also finding a lack of information on macro or even crafting — no one knows anything about it. Just like in the early days of Everquest when there was scant information on quests, monsters, loot, crafting, and game mechanics so is Runes of Magic in that Dark Age! Of course that can also be a problem when you want to know something really simple — such as does the crossbow use arrows? Since I can not find quarrels, I assume they do but when I buy the ammunition, it is never subtracted from my inventory when I fire the crossbow (yet I do attack with it)? Strange that no one knows anything about this. . .
But back to the game. The graphics remind me allot of World of Warcraft and I have heard that it is pretty much a copy of the game mechanics. Not a bad thing since 12 million people play WoW.
The game has all the features you would want in a triple A classic MMO: rich quest content, dungeons for groups and raids, guilds with all the amenities, standard monster grinding, complex character statistics, harvesting of resources, crafting in several disciplines, disenchanting of items into raw components, creation of powerful magical objects, group and raid bosses, and huge maps to explore. Everything that EQ or WoW or any of the major games have, so does Runes of Magic.
I was amazed at the number of different mounts that the game allows — very nice!
Also the game is FREE to play. I think a bit of explanation is in order about that term — because as we all know there is nothing free in this world. And yes, the game is not free since you can spend real money like a fish swims through water in the game YOU WILL BE SPENDING HARD EARNED CURRENCY. Of course you do not need to spend money, but to get all the fun trinkets in the game such as extra bag space, fancy house furniture (which gives you xp bonus), mounts, potions, and the list goes on. I told myself that if I am still playing the game a month after I signed on that I would buy myself 1000 diamonds. Diamonds of course is the currency in the game that can be purchased with real money.
There is also gold in the game, and if you like using the scummy gold spammers, that too can be purchased with real money. Otherwise, gold is the free to earn money that you can spend to your heart’s content. And let me tell you, gold flows in this world. Some pieces of equipment sells for millions of gold. I have probably accumulated about 50,000 gold so far but most of that has already been spent on learning new skills and buying off the rack weapons and armors.
I have been trying to get some of my other friends to play Runes of Magic. And just like I was reluctant a couple of months ago, so too are they uneasy about playing. I keep telling them that its FREE and that if you don’t like it the worst you would be out is a couple of hours of time. They still bulk at entering the world.
As for me, I now questioned why I spent so much money on Everquest II. I truly wished I didn’t spend the 80 dollars and the 30 dollars a month (two accounts) on the recent expansion and years of time in the game. How much further ahead in my slush fund I would be if I stopped playing a year ago.
Is everything rosey about Runes of Magic? Of course not. They have their issues just as any MMO does. I have crashed several times while playing — locking my computer to the point I had to restart the computer. The graphics can be cheesy at times as well as some of the skills. Also I wonder if I get sucked into the game if I will be spending more than 30 dollars a month on diamonds? Perhaps that IS their dirty little secret. . .