Downloading Runes of Magic is as
straight forward as it can be. There is a large button on the
Runes of Magic web site that by simply clicking on it takes you to a
page that gives you the size of the download, minimum system
requirements, and a large button to start the download. The file
size is 5.3 GB and should not take an extreme amount of time with a
decent internet connection.
After you get the main download
complete there are a few patches that need to be completed before you
can get into the game. This has become a staple for free to play
MMOs that are all over the market today. The version that is
available for download on the official site is often several patches
behind what is needed to play the game.
-Before You Play-
Once the game comes up you are prompted
to agree to the terms and conditions. This happens every single
time you open the game. This has become a minor annoyance of mine
as I have never had this happen before with any other game Ive played;
free to play or otherwise. Once you get past that you log in and
are encouraged but not required to use a mini keyboard that comes up
for increased security. Not sure how that increases security as
its not required and even if it was I am going to assume that its
available on all machines so I just bypass it and change my passcode
about once every 3 months just like I do with everything else.
At this point Runes of Magic has an
interesting secondary passcode feature that is required every time you
start on a new sever that is used for things like deleting a
character. Its a nice feature and so far does not come into play
very frequently which may become a problem if you lose it as I have not
found a way to recover it if that happens.
Oh how does RoM shine at the character
creation screen. A lot of players focus on what their character
can do and a lot focus on how the character looks. This is a game
that gives you a full complement of options for really making the
character yours. With approximately twenty choices in hair and
face each the combinations are almost limitless. Other options
are hair color, chest, hand and feet size, waist, height, arm and leg
size, and more. You can easily spend 30-60 minutes on this screen
simply creating your character to look just like you want them to.
If there was a down side to the overall
character creation options it is the complete lack of a random name
generator. While this does not really make or break the overall
experience it has become such a standard in the MMO world the lack of
one is almost surprising.
-In the Land of Taborea-
I cannot say how well RoM does for a
free to play game. It has a great look to it and its well
crafted. The game at first does not seem to have any big
misses. Quite a few free to play games will do okay in most of
the areas and then have a gaping hole in one or two areas that at first
you over look and then as time goes by you find it harder and harder to
log into the game and continue to play. This hands on impressions
focuses mostly on the starting areas and a just beyond, but Ill also
be taking a closer look at the mid-level and end game experience in the
coming weeks There are so many quests available in just the first
areas, however, that its a wonder if they can keep it up to end
The current level cap seems to be 55
from what I have been able to gather. In this land you can start out as
either a human or an elf and while tensions are stressed between the
two races they will work together at end game to compete for the common
good of Taborea.
Right from the beginning you get 3
gathering professions and now is a good time to gather and level up as
the resources are plentiful and easy to gather. As you progress
you will take on a profession that allows you to craft gear either for
yourself or to sell on the Auction House.
The world seems seamless at first but
even in the starting area I ran into two areas that I had to
loadinto. This was a bit odd but the loading time did
not take very long and once in the area everything was fine.
-User Interface and Battle Mechanics-
RoM has a very standard user interface (UI) from what I have seen in
of other MMO's. You have a hot bar for your main spells (there are a
four of these that can be moved around), a mini map, micro menu, chat
character info pane, and Target pane.
The battle mechanics of the game are again very similar to what you
come to expect from a standard street MMO. You can either click on
your hot bar, press the corresponding keys to activate the spell when
a friendly or enemy targeted, or you can have your spell book open and
from there (not recommended)
One thing that I liked about RoM is there did not seem to be a lot
bloat. You got a few spells and can use TP or Talent Points to upgrade
level. It is worth mentioning here that at the beginning before you get
second class you have more than enough TP to go around. Then I
later levels you "farm" TP as you kill mobs and max out just about
everything. Not sure how this may affect end game but I can see a
lack of customization here.
What makes RoM different from other
MMOs? For me its the key features that seem to work well
together without causing a disjointed feel. I have not had a
chance to try out or enjoy the benefits from all of these features yet
but they include:
- Housing In the land of Taborea you
get your own house. Right now I could find about 150 different
ways to customize your home. You gain the items through quests,
the item shop and on the Auction House.
Guild Castles These wonderful
buildings give your guild a place to hang out other than the local pub
with all the other players streaming around. As your guild levels
up and expands you will be able to add workshops, academies and bolster
your defenses. There is also a PvP aspect to Guild Castles in
that you can attack or be attacked by other players.
Dungeons I have yet to venture into one of these areas
but there seems to be quite a bit of talk about how
the dungeons are randomly generated. I am very excited about this
mostly because after you have run something 20 times and its still the
same then it gets very very old. Now, it appears that not all
Dungeons are random and in fact some of them are the staple Instances
that have become so common in todays MMOs that the fact you have a
choice is exciting.
Diamonds This is the micro
transaction piece of RoM. Almost, if not all, free to play MMOs
have some type of micro transaction component. Some of the
available items greatly alter the game and make it difficult for those
who do not use them to get very far. In RoM so far the few times
I have ran into diamond use it has been only a slight enhancement that
allows me to complete a task quicker while still being able to complete
it without the use of a diamonds.
Costumes I have not personally had
any of these but have seen them on other players in game. The
costumes allow you to customize your look without losing your
stats. Through the use of a tool called the Aggregator you can
transfer the stats off a piece of equipment you own onto a costume
piece so you can venture in style. It appears this can only be
used with the help of diamonds.
Runes of Magic seems to be a very well
put together free to play MMO that has well balanced classes that are
not so balanced that every class can do everything but balanced to the
point where every class has a role that can be filled better than
another. The crafting and selling portion of the game seem to fit
well with the community.
Normally I am not a huge fan of free to
play MMOs. They just seem to fall down in one area that is so
glaring that over time its impossible to over look. Up through
level 20 I have not found that to be an issue. I would recommend
RoM to anybody who either A) does not have the funds to afford the
upfront cost of a game or the ongoing monthly sub B) just does not want
to pay to play every month or C) is breaking into the world of MMOs
for the first time and is looking for a chance to try them out and not
shell out a bunch of dough for something they may not like.
I could go on about the merits of RoM
and why you should try it and some of the other features that are in
the game but with the info I have given you here I hope its enough for
you to give it a try.
I doubt you will regret it if you
choose to venture into the land of Taborea.
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