I’ve heard a lot about the free-to-play MMORPG Runes of Magic over the past few months. I heard the game is a World of Warcraft clone, so for a bit of nostalgia for my first MMO I decided to give RoM a try. What follows is just my impressions from playing the game at the end of the open beta period, which ended this morning. Once the servers come back on-line Thursday morning, some of these things may have changed.
The game does look a lot like WoW. The user interface and mini-map brought back some memories. Also, the harvesting and crafting reminded me a lot of WoW. The auction house concept is very much like WoW’s. And of course RoM has a cartoon-ish art style. But having leveled a character to be a level 10 scout/level 10 rouge, I found a lot of differences.
The first was character creation. First, players are only of one race. However, I felt I had a lot more choice in choosing how my character looks. EverQuest 2 probably gives players the same if not more different basic appearances (not counting skin color), but that is partly because that game has 10? different races. Because RoM only has one race, I felt like I had more choices.
The second is that characters can be dual-class. Notice that my character is a level 10 scout/level 10 rouge? And I can switch those classes around to give my character a different set of abilities. Yes, a scout/rouge has different capabilities than a rouge/scout. With 6 classes in the open beta, that is 36 different class combinations players can play and enjoy. And with rumors of 2 more classes to be introduced once the game is live, players have a lot of choice on what to play.
The third is harvesting and crafting. I realize that I said that harvesting and crafting reminded me of WoW. But as far as I can tell, unlike WoW, players can harvest everything, just like they do in EverQuest 2. Crafting is the same way. In RoM, just like in WoW, crafting is performed by going to a crafting tool, entering how many of an item you would like to make, and then waiting for the crafting to finish. But unlike WoW, RoM crafters are not limited to one main crafting skill. From my understanding, a player can learn all the crafting skills up to an apprentice level, then 3 skills up to another level, then become a master of one skill. This progression reminds me a lot more of EQ2 than of WoW.
The fourth difference is player housing. RoM has it, WoW doesn’t. RoM’s player housing reminds me a lot of EQ2’s housing, at least in functionality. Players have a 20-slot house vault and can put useful items like mannequins, crafting stations, and furniture in their rooms. While players cannot put items up for sale from their homes like in EQ2, they can access their bank. I should mention that while my homes in EQ2 have pets roaming around, RoM has a very cute housekeeper to take care of your needs.
Is this game worth playing? Well, I bought $22 in diamonds, so I'll be playing for at least a month or two.