When gamers first discovered Frogsters
of Magic, it was too easy to dismiss
the title as another World
of Warcraft clone. Once
beta began and people got a taste of the many features and design
elements present in the world of Taborea, players understood that
Frogster was on to something with its free-to-play title. As the game
closes in on three months since href="http://tentonhammer.com/node/65599" target="_blank">the
official launch and over href="http://tentonhammer.com/node/68059" target="_blank">one
users, Ten Ton Hammer takes a look
at the top six reasons to play Runes
in Ravenfell has a distinct pirate theme.
style="font-style: italic;">Runes of Magic is
free to download: MMOs typically cost $15-50 at retail
depending on how long they have been on the market. The purchase price
always includes a month of play time, but its still a bit of a gamble
any time a gamer buys a box. An MMO enthusiast who pays $50 for a title
he doesnt like after a few hours of gameplay either must concede that
he has just lost his money or play an MMO he doesnt like as much as
possible during that month to get his moneys worth of entertainment
from the transaction. Players dont take any risks with style="font-style: italic;">Runes of Magic.
Nothing is lost if a person decides Frogsters MMO is not for him
because a free download gets a person into the game.
does not require subscription fees: The lack of a monthly
fee has two benefits for the residents of Taborea. The first advantage
is that a player does not feel pressure to play a certain number of
hours during the month to justify the cost. Whether a person logs on
for two hours per week or twenty, the reason to log on is the desire to
play rather than pressure to validate an expense.
The second perk that comes from
style="font-style: italic;">Runes of Magic
having no subscription fee is that players can take a break at any time
without any account management. A gamer going on vacation for three
weeks doesnt need to do anything to manage her account. Since style="font-style: italic;">Runes of Magic
costs nothing, she can simply stop playing and return to the game when
her vacation is over. Likewise, a person who has grown tired of the
title or reached the level cap can stop playing for a while and come
back after a new content update.
content and events frequently: style="font-style: italic;">Runes of Magic
launched with content beta testers did not have a chance to access, a
wise move. In the ten weeks since it went live, Frogster has released
at least four content updates and events. First was href="http://tentonhammer.com/node/66615" target="_blank">the
expansion, which added content for players near the cap. Then
came target="_blank">the Easter Egg Hunt, an event Ton
Ton Hammer participated in that offered prizes for readers who could
find the eggs hidden on gaming websites. Next was href="http://tentonhammer.com/node/66908" target="_blank">the
Spring Rain Event, which added seasonal fun and quests.
Finally, Frogster announced href="http://tentonhammer.com/node/67179" target="_blank">the
Public Encounters system, an open quest system that works a
bit like target="_blank">Warhammer Onlines Public Quests.
The Dual Class
system is fun: At first glance, it is easy to dismiss href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/61453" target="_blank">the
Dual Class system in Runes
of Magic as a copycat version of the jobs used in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/211"
Fantasy XI. However, to label the feature as an
imitation is hasty and inaccurate. The Dual Class system, though a bit
complicated and imperfect, allows players to build a versatile
character that can perform a number of roles in a group or an avatar
that fits a role playing story. By combining two character classes,
each gamer can design the character he wants, experiment with skill
combos to maximize effectiveness, and escape the boredom that often
sets in when a class hits the middle levels. Just when a Taborean
tires of playing one class, she can switch to the other for a while.
MMOs don't have to be costly to be epic.
Download: Lars Koschin, CEO of Frogster America, Inc.,
notes, The biggest barrier to even wider adoption of free-to-play
online games is the time it takes from when you start downloading the
game, to when you get in and play. Now Frogster is working with
BitRaider to make Runes
of Magic a streaming download that will take about five
minutes to download and let people get into the game. If the feature
works well, it should result in more gamers trying the title. The full
version of the client weighs in at almost 3.5GB, making for a very long
download that can scare off potential players. And it lends to a
greater chance of a corrupted download causing a gamer to simply give
up on Runes of
Magic. The speedy download of the smaller client will mean
people have even less to risk in trying the title.
what it is doing: The streaming download is just one sign
that Frogster is managing Runes
of Magic well. The frequent content updates are further
evidence, as is unlocking new content at launch.
It is important to note that Frogster held an exclusive beta
of Magic, demonstrating that the company was
more concerned with fixing bugs and adding polish to make a great game
than advertising a mediocre game. Frogster is wise enough to understand
that when beta is used as marketing that testers don't bother to report
bugs. They play until they encounter something that turns them off to
the game and leave. They tell their friends only about the offensive
gameplay element, and the title is relegated to the anonymity that
comes with a glutted market.
Frogster has demonstrated a commitment to
style="font-style: italic;">Runes of Magic that
is not often found in games without a retail tag and subscription fees.
We have listed but six terrific reasons to try the title, and we
havent even mentioned the distinctive artwork in the different zones,
the staggering number of quests, the mature and helpful player base, or
the sheer fun of the game. The important things to convey are that
players can download Runes
of Magic for free, play it for free, and find a gameplay
experience fully supported by the developer and publisher.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Runes of Magic Game Page.