Runes of Magic

About a week and a half ago, I discovered Runes of Magic. This is a (mostly*) free-to-play MMO which I decided to give a try, and so far I’m loving it.

Although ROM is still in beta and is very small – there are only 5 regions on the map yet – I’m actually loving it so far. I’ll say it’s like World of Warcraft but there are some major differences, some of which will be familiar to Guild Wars players.

*Now, although its free to play, there are extras you can buy with “diamonds” which can be purchased for real money. You can buy diamonds with game gold in the auction house but you’re talking millions here (although 1G in ROM is like 1 copper in WoW). Many of these extras are cosmetic but some are kind of useful, like a permanent mount which you can have from level 1 if you so choose. Although you can “rent” mounts at any time with game gold instead. So while its often easier to go the diamond route, there’s no necessity to, if you don’t want to pay.

As with WoW, everything is seperate for Europe and the USA, although unlike WoW, it’s easy to register for one not where you live, if you so choose. I’ve registered accounts on both sides of the Atlantic, although that was problematic until I realised that I needed to manually edit an .ini file to switch from one to the other.

Character Generation
You can at present, only be human, although elves are coming out in the next expansion. There are no Factions (like Horde vs Alliance), everyone is on the same side, although there is opportunity for PvP if you wish, there are PvP servers, and on the PvE servers there is still duelling and arena fighting.
You have a choice of one of six classes to begin with: Warrior, Knight (equiv to Paladin), Scout (equiv to Hunter but without pet), Rogue, Mage and Priest.
Character appearance is much more versatile than WoW, and characters are well frankly, much more attractive. More like Guild Wars here, only with many more options. Hair colour for instance, you can pick from anywhere in the RGB spectrum. You can even change height and bulk of the body.

Here is me, at level 10:

Once you have your character named, you can enter the world. You’ll be offered the chance to follow a tutorial. If this is your first time, take it. Even if you’re familiar with WoW. The interface is just different enough and it’ll save a lot of frustrated mouse-clicking later. Plus it only takes about 10 minutes and you get a gift bag with a trinket in it.

Early quests are very tutorial-like. In WoW you get taught via quests how to use the flight-masters, and in RoM you get taught via quests just about everything; using portals, getting a house, gathering and crafting, using runes.

Levelling is fast – actually it’s TOO fast because your level soon outstrips the level of the quests that remain, so you end up with the dilemma of whether to stay back and finish them, or skip onto the better ones. I’ve been inclined to stay back and do them all for completeness’ sake. Every time you level you get to spend talent points on class-related skills, and you also get a gift bag containing some nifty piece of gear appropriate for your class and level.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that loot drops are more appropriate to your level. In WoW, if you’re killing level 10 mobs they’ll drop gear of level 5 or so. In RoM a level 10 mob will drop level 10 gear, or even higher sometimes. So you’re always getting chances to equip your character up-to-par. Also collection quests have a high enough drop rate that you’re not tearing out your hair and grinding for hours.

Gathering and Crafting
You’ll be familiar with these if you’re a WoW player. The gathering skills are herbalism, mining and woodcraft. No skinning here. The crafting skills are blacksmithing, armour-crafting, tailoring, carpentry (makes bows, staves, clubs and other wooden weapons), alchemy, cooking. Food isn’t necessary for health recovery but it does give you buffs. These skills level in the same scale as your character level, ie 1-50. You can choose ALL the skills at apprentice level (1-20) but beyond that you start being selective, although you still get plenty more choice than in WoW. Gathered materials sell for a huge price in the Auction House. And armour & weapons are cheap. Go figure.

Your House
Every player gets a free house. Here you have a storage box, you can switch character class (more about that later) and you can invite friends in and decorate as you wish (or as you can afford). Guilds can also purchase a guild castle, as they could in Guild Wars.

Everyone in RoM can do runecrafting, which is basically using magical stones that you find in the field, to put magical effects on weapons and armour. Its a little like enchanting and a little like jewelcrafting in WoW, but not quite either.

Daily Quests
not just for the top level characters, daily quests are for all. Every town or village has a noticeboard, here you can pick up dailies and do up to 10 a day. Dailies pay Prius tokens as a reward, you’ll need these later for your Arcane Transmuter.

Transport round the world happens in several different ways and all are available to characters of any level.. You can rent or buy a mount from level 1. Renting is kind of expensive. The cost of buying one with diamonds is about £8 on the European servers.
You can use teleport portals. Maor towns will have these. It will cost game gold to use them.
You can keep your own Transport book. You need Marking Ink and Transport Runes (you’ll be given some at lvl 5 although you can buy them any time with Prius Tokens). basically with marking ink you can set a teleport point anywhere in the world in your book, and at any time you can use a transport rune to take you there.
Or you can just run, and do some gathering along the way. The slowest but most profitable way.

Dual Class
Level 10 is the magical level. Three things happen, the most significant being that you get sent off on a quest to the capital city of Varanas to train in your second class. Incidentally the cities are MASSIVE – so big they have teleporters to get from one district to another. And the graphics are just stunning. Then you go to your house to swap classes, and you start back at level 1 in your new class. From here onwards, you have two classes to level uip. You gain experience only in whichever one is your primary, so you have to level them seperately. You can swap them over any time you visit your house. In my case I picked Warrior as my first class and Scout as my second; the same combination as my first Guild Wars character.

Arcane Transmuter
At level 10 you get an Arcane Transmuter which is a gadget that assists with the runecrafting and can make some really nifty buffs on your gear. The components cost though, either diamonds, Prius tokens or gold.

Off to the land of the Goats
Also at level 10 you get a teleport spell that will take you to another starting-area where you can level up your new class. Here you’ll find a whole new region and a new set of quests. The NPCs here are all goats. They’re not blue space-goats though. To be honest, the OCD part of me nagged about all the unfinished quests I’d left behind so I only stayed here a couple of levels before returning to where I was before – and discovered also that the first newbie starting area spawns a whole bunch of new starting quests after you’ve switched classes. So I went back to where I was. I guess I’ll go back when I’ve finished the first region’s quests, although I’m now lvl 13/10 and still have a long way to go yet. Like I said before, I think there are too many quests.

There’s plenty I’ve not seen yet. Instances. Guilds. (Most guilds don’t seem to be recruiting characters below lvl 25/25). PvP – which I’d rather pass on anyway. I’m sure I’ll have more to report later.

So… if anyone wants to join me I’m on Mactanacht (EU) or Govinda (US). Casteylan’s the name on both servers (no surprise there).


7 comments on “Runes of Magic

  1. Sorry Lewis but I have to disagree with you on this.

    I have known about ROM for over a year now and my experience with it has been an utter nightmare.

    A few flaws in what you said,
    The tutorial in this game is about as useless as putting water on a duck. It only explains how to (In this order)
    a. Move
    b. Accept Quests
    c. Attack

    One you finish this useless tutorial and exit it, you are left on your own.
    Gathering and Crafting
    It is 100% irrelevant that a wow player is familliar with this, that is no excuse for the devs to not allow someone who may never have played wow know what to do with these and or how to do it.

    And don’t even bother saying it’s explained in the game because it’s not. This should have been implimented into the tutorial when you log in.
    Your House
    There are 2 major flaws in your house that I have come across:
    a. You are given a storage box called a Leather Storage Chest and are told to “PLACE FURNITURE” Then never given the option to actually do that.

    NOTE: See the 2 actual words “PLACE FURNITURE” any sane and normal person when you are given a direction where it says you can PLACE FURNITURE is going to be looking for a clickable option or something they can choose that actually has the 2 actual words PLACE FURNITURE on it.
    In this case there is no such option thus making it impossible for a player who has any normal common sense to do so.

    There is a total explanation on how to create house energy which is fine, but now you are left with what you are supposed to do with the energy once you make it.

    Any person who tries to claim that it’s explained on either of these 2 options, have every severe mental issues and needs to go back to school.
    Setting a transport point is one of the main reasons I quit the game:
    When I originally was playing, this took me over a week and a half to even get somewhat of an answer on how to do and when i did finally get some actual answers that had information in it that could be used, there is no way anyone was able to figure this out. This process is such an exact science and so complex because you have to do extremely explicit steps with stuff you are not even told about in the game that which ever dev put this thing into the game needs to go into a mental institution. There is no way anyone can do this without someone telling you exactly what you need to click, what screens to open, and just do this whole process to begin with.
    Dual Class
    Once again yet another massive flaw in this game, that tells you you can do something but doesn’t take the liberty of walking you through this huge and complex process. it’s partly so complex because the mapping system in this game has absolutely no explanations on how to use it.

    When I first played this game I had a number of characters of all levels level 11, level 15, level 18 and even a level 21. and none of them ever had dual classes

    When you hit level 10 you are given a messsage that says talk to George in Logar regarding a dual class. Then when you go talk to him he tells you to head off to Varanas. and press M to bring up the world map. This instruction is a complete and utter lie. When you press M you are only brought to the current area map you are in. And again this is one of those things that any normal sane persson who has any common sense would say Ok the game say when you press M you are going to be seeing the world map.

    Too bad there is no instructions about what to to once M has been pressed.
    Off to the land of the Goats
    What you said regarding how you get a teleport spell at level 10 that brings you to a new area is a 100% lie there has never ever been any such thing in this game at all anywhere. remeber I have had 4 characters all over level 10 and not once have I ever been given any teleport spell.

    Ok so I don’t know where you are getting 3/4 of your information because it’s not correct.

  2. Some answers to your points here:

    The tutorial – yeah it’s very very basic, but so what? Learning the game is what the quests in Pioneer Village are for.

    Gathering and Crafting – There are two quests, one given by Woody, and one by Alice, that teach you how to use gathering. You learn how to use Crafting by clicking the instructors and reading the instructions they tell you.

    Place Furniture – I wonder how I managed to do it so easily, if it’s so “impossible”. If you hover over the icons in the furniture window the hovertips tell you what each icon does. Place, Rotate and Move are very self-explanatory.

    House Energy I haven’t bothered looking at because it costs real money.

    Transport – Is not really that complex. There is a quest that George gives you, and if you read the instructions in the quest, you take it to a girl at the transporter and if you read everything, it’s all explained.

    Dual Classing – again you have to do the quest and read everything. All the instructions you need are in the quest, and in the extra instructions from the people at the end. Every one of the class instructors will explain the process. The quest instruction tells you to follow the road north of Logar, to get to Varanas. No its not in the same region but if you follow the road it will take you there. There isn’t any other place to go on that road. If you don’t find it, you haven’t gone far enough.

    The Teleport Spell – You missed out getting these spells because you did not get to Varanas and complete the Dual Class quest. You get two teleport spells from the Adventurer’s Guild master in the Class Hall, when you’ve completed that quest. One spell will take you back to Logar, the other takes you to Reifort, where the goat-people are.

    As for where I’m getting my information – it’s from actually playing the game, reading the quest instructions and doing the quests. You seem to be missing that part out, and consequently you’re giving people a very false impression of the game.

    • I can see it both ways.. The game is often times awkward, the text tiny when you read about a quest and I often get bored with all that reading just for a quest. But then again the more you do things and pay attention its not that hard. The game is very cool for a free to play MMO.. i like how similar it is to wow becaues I’m about to quit wow very soon to play this. Cheers

      • It definitely has its flaws; for example some quests (especially in the new Elven starting area) are bugged and can’t be completed, but even so, for a free-to-play game I think it’s absolutely superb. I’ve given up my WoW subscription and now play RoM only. Incidentally I don’t find the quest text too small, although I have my screen set to a fairly low resolution because I have a visual disabilty. Even so it’s still big enough and clear enough for me to read.

  3. I seriously laughed my ass off reading “accurategamereviewer’s” giant rant…


    He obviously never took even half a second to skim over just the last few lines of what the npc’s say to him…

    I guess he’s never heard of tooltips either..

    If you played for a week and never even figured out something as simple as the transport book (lower right of screen) or dual classing (they send you on a fking quest and there’s an npc that talks about it for like 7 pages if you select the dialogue options) then you seriously do have a mental deficiency.

    Been playing now for a little over a day and it took literally the first 2-3 hours of gameplay to learn everything you ranted on about haha.

    I guess the dev’s just assumed that the people playing have an IQ made up of at least 2 digits.

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