Review: Runes of Magic

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Runes of Magic, the free-2-play fantasy MMORPG from Frogster Interactive launched recently with 700,000 registered accounts and our very own Ryan Plas sat down to review the game.

The first time that you log into Frogster Interactive’s Runes of Magic, you’re probably going to scoff and say “Hey, I’ve seen this before!” You’re probably going to spend the first hour or two telling yourself how it’s just a rip off of the 8,000 pound gorilla.  But do yourself a favor and keep on truckin’, because once you do, you are going to find one of the best Free2Play titles on the market today.  And in my opinion, one of the better titles on the market today, period.  I promise that if you give Runes of Magic a chance, that you will be not only pleasantly surprised, but genuinely hooked.

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Runes of Magic has just about everything you could want in an MMO title.  Housing, a dual class system, daily quests, instances and dungeons, you name it.  And on top of that, the absolute best go to market strategy in their item shop than I have ever seen in a Free2Play titles.  And I want to focus on that and get it out of the way, because one of the biggest barriers around to the Free2Play genre are their cash shops.  And while yes, Runes of Magic does have the requisite cash shop, not shopping there isn’t going to put you at a huge disadvantage compared to those that do.  The reason for that?  Because even if you don’t spend a dime in real life cash on diamonds for the shop, you can still earn them in game.  Runes of Magic Auction House system is set up so that you can still earn diamonds in game without spending your hard earned cash in this resecession-tastic time.  You can put items up to sell that you find in game for either in game gold, or diamonds that you can use on cash shop items, as well as purchase in game items with said diamonds, right through the auction house.  And they even instituted a way to add legal in game gold purchasing.  Because on top of selling items for diamonds, you can straight up trade in game gold for diamonds, right through the auction house.

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It is an ingenious way to monetize the title for the developers, while not creating a huge disadvantage for players not willing to shell out real life dollars.  It’s the most down to earth and sensible way to run a cash shop I have ever seen, and I hope that other developers in the Free2Play genre take some ideas from it and implement it in their titles, so that we can see the Free2Play subgenre dig it self out of the black hole that accompanies the name “cash shop” and get some more recognition.

Now that that is out of the way, on to how it plays…

Runes of magic functions like just about every MMO out there.  You do quests, beat up monsters and gain levels.  At character creation, you chose from your basic appearance and pick your first class.   One disappointing thing is that at this time, there is only one character race to chose from, and that is Humans.  As you level up and reach level 10, you go to one of the main cities and earn the right to do another of one my favorite features of RoM, you get to chose your second class.  And depending on what you chose can really change how the game will play for you.  As you are leveling up, you earn both regular XP and TP.  TP is what is used to increases your different skills effectiveness.  All classes have both Primary and Secondary skills to chose from.  Primary skills are only available to you when you are playing that class as a primary, your secondary skills are what are available when you are playing that class as your secondary class.  For instance, at low levels priests get 3 basic healing spells, Urgent Heal, Heal and Regenerate.  Urgent heal is a faster low HP spell, Regenerate heals you for a set amount of damage every 2 seconds and Heal is a longer cast, bigger HP return spell.  But heal is only available with priest as a primary.

And with a limited amount of TP, you really have to pick and chose which skills you want to invest in to get the most out of your classes abilities.  On top that, at levels 15/15, 20/20, 25/25, and 30/30, you can turn in some items to get an Elite skill that is going to differentiate with each class/class combination further adding to the customization and  difference between secondary classes.  I played a Priest/Warrior and for example at level 15/15, as priest warrior you get an elite skill that is a buff that adds attack and defense while reducing the amount of HP you get from heals while it is up, called Battle Monk Stance.  But as a Warrior/Priest, you would get a party buff.  I think it’s a great system that works very well with the play system.

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As you level and defeat monsters, finish quests and run dungeons, you will of course get new gear.  And there are a few ways to upgrade your gear once you have them.  Monsters drop runes that you can add to socketed items, and you can always purchase items that will add +1 to your weapons and armor, possibly adding some cool particle effects.

You can also take items you get and create orbs that can them be combined and added to any item that will add increased stats.  The system can be costly, and you can always spend RL cash for diamonds to help with it, but I found the system to be fairly complex for an F2P MMO, if not a little daunting and confusing at times.

Graphics are your run of the mill fantasy look, and the music is actually very good, when and if its playing.  It seems that a lot of time, you just don’t hear it.  One of my biggest gripes about most F2P titles is the lack of different item graphics.

Alot of times you just end up looking like the guy standing next to you, only with a +1 next to your armor in your inspect box.  RoM though has a ton of different item graphics, and while I don’t think a lot of you will care all that much, it gets extra marks in my book.

All in all, I really enjoyed my time in RoM and have been recomending to anyone I know who is short on cash in this global economy.  It might not totally replace World of Warcraft for you, but it certainly is a great title that is well worth the time downloading!  You can check out the offical site here, but if you really want to DL the client, I would suggest using Fileplanet.

Review Score: 4/5


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Comments

  1. Review: Runes of Magic http://bit.ly/s5PA

  2. wish I could play it…

  3. Speranza says:

    Played RoM for a while. Its probably my favorite F2P game out there. Several features of the game are outstanding and overcome a lot of the issues I have with most RPGs. For example the ladies who can teleport you around town, the autonavigation, and the ability to search for the location of mobs in game. Glad to hear MMOGAMER liked it also!

  4. Alienated Fan says:

    Bait & Switch, at the end, competitive PvP is spending competition. While it may strike you as a casual-friendly game at start, getting to lvl50 being really easy and all, once the quality of your gear comes to play, you are bound to either ruin your life over it trying to farm/grind it all yourself(almost as bad as WoW on addiction factor) or spend dozens of times more than you would for years of subscription in any pay2play mmo, and there is no end to it, trust me. Markets on all servers are already spinning out of control, company's cash shop currency is replacing gold as only means of player-to-player payment since nobody wants gold which is getting worthless by the minute. gl+hf and cya ingame^^

  5. Reegaan says:

    This is a wonderful game. I've been playing it for about 3 weeks. I have several characters, with a Warrior/Priest duel class and a Warrior/Mage class character being great fun to play. I have yet to pay anything, but I plan to and not only to I want to Contribute to this great game, but even if I drop $20, it’s still way cheaper then paying $15 a month playing WoW. When I was playing WoW, I felt like I had to play so many hours a mouth to get my $15 worth, but with RoM, I don't feel that Pressure. The game world is big, as are the cities, just like WoW. And with it being free to download and play, even if you do play WoW, it's worth checking out.

    • I\'ve been hearing good things about the game and Ryan certainly liked it. I really need to make some time and play it. About putting in $20 in the game, that\'s another interesting area. How does an average player put into the game per month? Or rather, how much in average do player who pay put in per month?

      • mmolurker says:

        I think if you put in $15 a month for a game, playing at least a few hours a month into the game is more than enough worth it. There's no need to spend that many hours to feel like you've played for your money's worth. Because if you think about it, $15 is about one meal for one person at any normal chain restaurant, and that's on the low ends. If we're talking about dinner rather than lunch it would be more. So regarding how much i'd put in a game a month, probably however much i'm willing to eat at home instead of going out, and if I don't have other hobbies I want to spend that saved money on. I'm a casual gamer.

  6. FunandGames says:

    You can buy diamonds with real money, which are then used to buy things like a permanent mount to ride around with in the game. Or you can do a Currency Exchange, trading in game gold, that you get from quests at the Auction House for diamonds. So, if you are so inclined, you can still buy items but never have to spend any real money at all. Or, as I plan on doing, buy some Diamonds, maybe $10 worth from time to time, and then auction them off or trade them for lots of gold or cool weapons and what-not. This way, the cost of my on-line gaming is low, yet the vaule for my real dollar is high. Perfect world.

  7. FunandGames says:

    Cost of diamonds. – It looks like $4.99 per 100 diamonds.
    And the price goes down the more you buy. If you buy 100, it's about 5 cents per — if you buy 1000, it drops down to below 4 cents per.

  8. Is this game Taiwanese or Korean?

  9. hunter says:

    well i really want to play it and ive benn downloading it today it ends up taking forever but i hear its well worth it. right now im updating it and its tooken about 2 hours now just to get to 40% and it has to get to 100% 4 times so ur looking at about 1 day of just downloading and updating and installing a patching

  10. Casper says:

    Still an amazing game 8.5/10

  11. Michael says:

    Anyone know what the *upload* message means when i start the game?

  12. do you guys have the extreme lag i do? well me and my friends have it, and im just wondering if you all do too. :

  13. xFriendsx says:

    Hey Dark it was extremely lagging for me because I think it was mainly from my 5 years old computer. What I did was that I lowered my display setting so the graphics looked a little bit dull but the game was faster and it was less laggy. You can try to see if it works!

  14. CasualGamer says:

    with 3.5 gigs worth of download i hope its worth it.

  15. CasualGamer says:

    i wonder if they can make a game like this for the psp. maybe change the res to 520×200 or something.

    im sure they can make a mmorpg for the psp. maybe have a download as you go type of deal.

    (this game requires 5.0 gigs of memory to play or something) then once you visited all the worlds you wouldn't have to download as you go anymore.

    - kinda like the world of warcraft trial. –

  16. person who wants 2 play says:

    i hav downloaded the game multiple time b4 i could install it and now when i patch (successfully) i start the games and “weeds” apear i really want 2 play but i cant log-in with that…. and yes i meet the minimum req??

  17. CasualGamer, they do make an mmo for the psp. Look up "Blade and Soul". You can download it online, and theres a psp version.

  18. I have experienced the same, I was unable to play the game for 2 months because I was stuck in a mountain. They support is NON-EXISTANT.

    And yeah their GMs are volunteers so they treat you like sh|t

  19. After three months of playing, this game is not at all worth it! It's true, they have no support and the system is completely unstable. Every patch day they have even more glitches occur and have to hot fix and sometimes not even that. They are ban happy. This unpleasant experience with their support, the headache, and the money is not worth it in this game.

  20. Bob the Bulider says:

    renana, play archlord or shayia if you dont like rom! XD They are glitchest games ever. :P

    • They have may errors and broken quests. they have banned many peeps just on suspicion and not PROOF. They are not worth the time. If you have lots of money then you will most likly get banned. This is a bs game. You need to find a better game with less issues. Flyff was better and Free.

      • Pentalic says:

        Wtf are all of uvtalking about? first off… the game isnt that glitchy, and yes shaiya does suck… and yes, so does flyff…
        RoM is a great game, and just cuz u got banned for scamming, doesnt mean u have to try to put it down
        stop trying to ruin the game experience for others!!!

    • Mamnoony says:

      Just bought five $20 game cards!! I'm good on diamonds =]

      Now I'm going to pwn palenque XD!!

  21. A lot of the links on their website doesn't even work. They said to go check patch code in the forums, but they don't seem to have a forums section… They also don't have a login section on the website, all they have is the registration form, but no existing member login. So from the lack of a login screen I'm assuming they really actually don't have a forums section and it's not just that it was down when I tried… Their website is really bugged and they just seem to be missing a lot of contents.

  22. the game is so fucking laggy i hate it

  23. Most of the people who are saying it`s lagging are confusing server lag with crappy computer lag, i`ve played this game along with 4 of my freinds and i have never lagged once but 1 of my freinds with a crappy pc is always complaining about lag.

  24. ChAoSeFX says:

    What this article fails to address(as many others do) is the blatant preferential treatment of the games EU players and complete disregard of the needs of it's US based customers. Save your time(and possibly money) and find a better game made by a company that is not trying to rip you off at every turn to fatten their gelatinous pockets.

  25. DON'T play this game!! It's a pure money leeching game, they will scammed most of their players who were paying (and you have to pay to compete anyway).

    • GameOver says:

      i'm new in this game and really i must pay for everything and . is that mean i cant use only gold for buying diamond or items :( ?
      if it's like that
      in my opinion this system sux to F2P .. cuz u cant do anythink if u dont alwys paying [like p2p] :(

  26. snake_simian says:

    Can be banned with out gitting proof of what you did. I got banned and they said I was conneted to an account that did some thing wrong. My son 14 who does not have a way of getting cash for selling items was acused of selling runes for cash. Thus geting us both banned. you will spend thousands of dollers to get equipment to allow you to do instances and run endgame with the big boys. they will not take you because they are kind! No it is highly competitive. So play at own risk and spend no money on diamonds. Watch you conversations and dont say key words. Read all forums to know what is taboo. Do not joke about runes or tiering or diamonds use. They will ban in seconds and care not what was really going on.
    Play safe and be kind we all are in it together.

  27. Scotty007 says:

    I'v been playing this game now for over a year. I'v watched the game go down hill fast. Currently the
    Game is full of bugs and feels more like a beta version. As to buying diamonds (for real money) you
    have to in order to be able to get to any kind of endgame content. Diamonds were available in their
    Auction House, purchased with in game gold instead of real money, but that has ended. (So much
    for the free to play). With all the in-game issues (bugs) and the need to buy their Diamonds for real
    money, to get anywhere in the game, I give this game a minus 10 on a plus 1 to plus 10 scale.
    They started out good, but that is no longer the case.

  28. rinying says:

    kuke and buffme have you either played beta or a game that just came out?

    no well most games go like this the game is made through efforts of a lot of people then they beta test it then they find all the little bugs that are literally everywhere wow has been around for about 10 years now right? thats impressive but how good was it when it had just came out all buggy and glitchy give the game designers some time to weed out the bad bugs and exploitable glitches

  29. nice bolg .nice content ,i found your blog on runes of magic gold ,.i think i wll back soon

  30. cant wait says:

    so its like wow?im pumped

  31. ThePro says:

    7gb (+1 with update) of download and patching
    8gb of a game, im patching as of right now, and it looks pretty nice

  32. I like Your style man

  33. Neil Eyre says:

    AVOID, AVOID, AVOID.

    the main problem with this games is it relies VERY, VERY, VERY, heavily on customer service which is really really poor.

    you sign up buy your diamonds get loads of equipment to make your character powerful, and then along comes a thief who somehow gets your password and steals all your nice PAID FOR WITH DIAMONDS items.

    heres the catch. frogster dont care.

    You will complain and get in touch with support but they realy dont care. First they will tell you to make you PC secure, which it probably already is. this takes about a week. then they ask you to change your password, which any normal person would have already done. so you have done both those things and wasted a week and a half but your problem has still not been solved. your items have not been returned.

    Avoid this game like the plague. frogster/runewalker will take your money, and offer no assistence when you have a problem. p.s. to all you peeps who think playing this without money is all you are going to do…. thats what i first thought but they basically trick you into the whole buying diamonds from the game becasue there are things you just need or the game is not fun, and if the game isnt fun then its not worth playing

  34. ROM was by far the best f2p mmo ive played.. that is until level 10. ill explain later but starting off there were many quests, a tutorial system for new players, hardly any grinding involved, many classes to choose from,great graphics and a fairly good community. this game does have its flaws though. one of them ive noticed is that magical-damage dealing characters such as the mage were WILDLY overpowered compared to physical-damage dealers such as the warrior. i played on both a mage and a warrior for a little and mages killed monsters twice to three times as fast as a warrior did, which made me upset. I didn't play long enough to see if the game had a pvp system, but my opinion is that warriors and physical-damage dealers would be demolished. i could be wrong though. The game is overall good, but going back to the lvl 10 thing.. around level 10 you are able to choose a secondary class. you may think this is a good thing but personally i didn't because the secondary class must be leveled on its own… I.E.you start back at level 1 and you have to go all the way back to the starter zone after coming a long way to level 10 (based on 1-2 hours of gameplay per day). I quit immediately when i found out you had to level your secondary class all by itself, going back to starter Hit-points and much less damage than normal instead of your secondary class being your primary class's level right as you get it and receiving xp for your secondary class while using your primary class. You can choose not to level your secondary class, but you will be substantially weaker than other players who have leveled both classes, thus not getting you into very many instances, and also getting you owned if you were in a pvp situation. Thats all i have to sat about ROM. i give this game a 5/10 because of the overpowered magical-damage dealers, and because of the secondary class system. If those two flaws were fixed, i would give this game a 10/10 hands down.

  35. You played until level 10 and assume you can make class judgements? Level 10 is nothing. Scout owns mages in dps.

  36. Michael says:

    Runes is now 2 years old. This weekend Swag gave us what looked to be a very nice gift 500% exp and 500% talent point gains from mobs promising us for a secret gift on Saturday morning. In guild we start getting “they are giving 500% diamonds (game currency) for your real money. Good this fits with the 500% exp and tp so I buy some from the site. A few days later I get suspended for abusing the economy. Seems they set up the diamond sales at the wrong parameters mistyping 150% with 510% and they blame the buyer for their ineptness.

    The above is what you will see if and when you play this game. Continual bugs, flaws, and mistakes which make game play a pain at best. Can the game be fun? Yes but do not try to get to top levels. It is not worth it. Just do the pay for free part. You will be behind the curve and in a middle level guild but enjoying yourself.

  37. mad player says:

    Runes of magic is a con game. They advertised a sale on diamonds for the 2 year anniversary that was advertised for about 48 hours. The company comes back to say it was a mistake and took peoples diamonds they had bought. If you complained about them on the forums or issued a complaint or charge-back with paypal or your cc company they perm banned you with no questions asked.
    I wouldn't trust these thieves with your money.

  38. romsux says:

    I have 2 characters on the Palenque server of RoM, 1 at max level, and another near max level…after playing this game a few months, I have to realize like many of those who left this game…Just how much problems this game have…At first glance, this game might look like a decent F2P game…but most of these writers that wrote these reviews never really stayed on the game long enough to give you an accurate feel of the game…RoM for one, has many bugs & glitches…also, many players reported being hacked, or paid for diamonds that they never received…They never bother to address the bugs & glitches issue, as they continue to add on contents in hopes that it'll keep the paying players on, and many players still talked about getting their account hacked on the world chat…diamonds purchased and never received would take forever to resolve…basically no customer service to paying players…the GMs only come on the server to chit chat…but when a player ask about fixes or raise issues about the game…the GMs tuck tail & sign off as soon as possible…I have gotten my forum account banned for stating the truth…Letting newcomers know that their Palenque server has a lot of players that take advantage of new players, and are very selfish & greedy…I was banned because a paying player who trolled my posts complained to the GMs…and I was the one banned for trolling & forum abuse when i simply tried to warn new players of the problems on that server…and the GMs have been trying to get new players to join that failing server…where many players have grown tired of Frogster's shady business ethics, and the self serving players on Palenque, and have either quit playing or moved on to another server. If you want to try RoM still, I would highly recommend that you enjoy it as a F2P and not pay for this piece of crap they call MMO, because you'll most likely be playing by yourself on Palenque…People will only help you when you have diamonds or something they want from you…save yourself time & money…avoid the game or the Palenque server like a plague!!!

  39. Mamnoonyblows says:

    Totally agree with romsux that this game is not worth playing at all…1st, people that plays the game said that you can reach endgame quick…which is technically true…but they did not mention how many hours u have to play a day to get there…while the quests r not terribly time consuming, but that's not where the problem lies…the reason y u would have to play 8 to 10 hrs a day is because the server is soo laggy…you feel the lag every few secs of playing…it takes 5 mins just to log into the game, 2 mins to load when u switch zones, and if u plan on participating in siege war (RoM's version of GvG), then be prepared to get dc'd a lot…and i mean somedays, u will dc 8+ times during siege war…now siege war last only 1 hr, so think about dc so many times and 5 mins to log back in each time…u basically r not playing…and if u r the unlucky people who plays Palenque server, u will leave sooner than u can finish downloading the game…they advertise Palenque server as a west coast/mexico server…but there are barely any english speaking players…most of em are spanish player with broken english…and the cash shop is in spanish, without an option for english…and the quality of the players on that server is terrible…not enough people spend money on the Palenque server…most of em playing f2p and knows that they need diamonds, so what they do is prey on unsuspecting newcomers…tons of trading scams, people that's just nice to u to get u to sell em diamonds u purchased…u won't get any assistance in game, unless u r the few that buys diamonds…and joining a guild on that server is like joining a gang…they will say that they're helpful & want to help u reach endgame…but really, they're just using u to get what they want…they invite people who buys diamonds…take em on instances, but then use master loot to control who gets what…of course they keep the best stuff for themselves & their friends first…so if u're f2p, u're pretty much last in line unless u are the self serving types that takes advantage of others..and talk about GM abuse, u can be banned for complaining about the game, and game bugs & glitches…they don't seem to want to address anything broken about the game…the new chapter 4 is just a ploy to sucker newcomers, pretending that the game is doing well & growing…the fact is, Palenque server just took down another server because too many people left…and when u reach lvl 55, there's an area where u can farm for high lvl gear, but everyone's there…so trying to move around in that area is like trying to win a lottery…and there's only enough room for a raid party of 36…and each event comes around 1 to 2 hrs, but don't try crashing the party…or u might not likely to get invited in the future runs…and those events bugs often…so it's not even up for long before it breaks…and unless u have a whole day to blow, good luck trying to get into the raid group, half of them never leave for the whole day…and with more people reaching lvl 55, it becomes even harder to get geared up…unless u can spend tons of money on the game…and the monsters are pretty much the same in all areas, just with different names…so it gets boring quick…and with just bosses in instances that u can't do unless u have money to spend on the gear…and r willing to deal with self serving players…so all in all, i big waste of time, imo.

  40. Mamnoonyblows says:

    Oh, and considering when RoM 1st came out, they report to have over 5 million users…now only 700k+, it's just an indication of how bad the game is…that they can drop player base this quickly.

  41. Mamnoony says:

    So what that I bought some game cards?? Five $20 dollar game cards still less than what other subscription MMOs charge, so technically I'm considered F2P!! I can just stand there and press the same buttons, and boss dies XD

    That's the way I look at it. =]

    • cron1s says:

      are you really going to marry arles or xxxgigilomannxxx on palenque?! just switch to my server and marry me instead…i'm all out of love, i'm so lost without u…i dont want to marry the gold seller or my bf swag =P

  42. There are several ongoing complaints about this game online, all aimed at lousy support, fraud, lack of security of accounts, account lockout of players who have invested hundreds of dollars to equip their characters. The truth can not recommend it to anyone as the service will continue to Frogter Spain.

  43. simply_me says:

    Not to be stingy, but people I have played a lot of mmorpgs, all I can think tho, that even if you buy it, contribute to it, don't use a single cent, people get addicted. They get addicted, they love it, and soon they may get bored. Its like going on a sugar rush, then going back down. Yes, RoM is fun, but also yes, the support is unreliable, the game is laggy (and I have an Alienware (gaming compu). Same with wow, games fun, good graphics, all that glitter and gold, but you have to pay, and you do get bored of it after a while. Bottom line, everything comes with a price, whether its making u lose money, cause global warming (yea, im a bit of a tree hugger).

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Trackbacks

  1. Playa says:

    ?????? 10 ????? ???? ? Runes of Magic #MMORPG #runes #mmogamer
    http://www.mmogamer.com/04/14/2009/review-runes-of-magic

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